Internet Search Help
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:
.com is a commercial site with the purpose of selling some product or
service. However, don't discount their value. Eg. Excellent stock
information is available at the Standard and Poor's web site http://www.spglobal.com/index.html.
.net is a private network and can be someone's personal page. As such,
it may be very subjective. A telltale sign is the ~ or a ? in the URL.
.edu is a web site running off an educational institution's server.
They are generally good, but different departments etc. can have
postings from faculty that can be questionable
Characteristics to look for in a good web site
- What topics are covered?
- What is the site's intrinsic value?
- How in depth is the material?
Librarian's Index to the Internet - a directory of websites that have
been reviewed by librarians and recommended for those doing research: http://www.lii.org
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: http://www.buffalolib.org
New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVEL) - with a current driver's license, free access to many full text databases: http://novelnewyork.org/