Internet Search Help
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Searching the Web : Tips and Tricks
How to effectively search –
Understand the difference between databases and the world wide web. Databases are collections of data that have been chosen and edited by professionals to facilitate searching. They contain well respected journal articles or bibliographic information. (Eg. ATLA & CPLI). These databases, subscribed to by CKS, are called citation only, as opposed to full text, databases. Conversely, the WWW is an open forum for anyone with the technology and the knowledge to disseminate anything. It is like a global bulletin board. No one but you is responsible for monitoring the currency, accuracy, objectivity or authority of the information presented there.
Use the Google Advanced search page. http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en
Limiting the domain, choosing the file format and using the other tools on the advanced search page can generate results that are more useful for your search. Also try www.scholar.google.com
which returns exclusively scholarly research articles.
Tip: When you open a web site and cannot connect your search term with the search result, click on Edit (from the toolbar) and” find on this page.” Type in your keyword and the computer will search the document and highlight your term.
There is a yellow binder on the desk near the library offices with annotations for recommended websites.
Evaluate the results of your search –
Determine the authority of the site:
The server name can give good information as to the source of the site. Eg. Microsoft or Greenpeace.
Note the difference between webmaster and site author. Check Wayback Machine http://www.archive.org/ and www.Alexa.com for traffic rank and reviews.
Characteristics to look for in a good web site -
Authority: Keep in mind, anyone can publish anything on the web
Objectivity: Information is presented with a minimum of bias
The following website does a good job of explaining pitfalls of internet research.
Is the page dated? Date put on web or date first written?
If so, how long ago? Lots of dead links is a bad sign.
Helpful Websites -
Librarian’s Index to the Internet - a directory of websites that have been reviewed by librarians and recommended for those doing research.
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library – with a current library card and PIN you can access, for free, databases that include the Buffalo News, and many full text journal articles.
New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVEL) – with a current driver’s license, free access to many full text databases.