Researching Tips and Hints

1. Remember:

-- Publishing on the Internet is unregulated. Almost anyone can publish a Web site.
--These sites are largely unreviewed for quality.
--They are unorganized.

2.Tools for finding information on the Internet include:

-- Subject Directories - lists of Web sites, collected and categorized by humans,
-- Search Engines - searchable databases of Web pages collected by a computer program,
--Specialized Search Engines - search for images, articles, legal information, and more.

3. To use these tools effectively you have to learn:

-- what they contain
-- how they are compiled
-- and how they work.

4. Which tool to choose? Caveats:

-- Subject Directories are selective because human evaluators choose which sites to include and which to exclude. So, the Web site containing the answer to your information need may not be included.
-- Search engines - you also need to know:
-- that no one search engine searches the entire Web and there may not be a lot of overlap for the databases they compile.
-- It may be necessary to use multiple search engines to find your information.

5. Another factor that affects both subject directories and search engines alike is the ever expanding size of the Web.

-- How are new sites discovered or crawled, and how quickly are they added to search engine databases?
-- How quickly are these sites found and reviewed and selected for subject directories?

The following links will help you in your efforts to:

-- learn about the Internet and World Wide Web,
-- access the information you are looking for, i.e. what search tools to use,
-- understand how these search tools work,
-- when to use them;
-- how to evaluate your results;
-- and how to stay abreast of changes in this rapidly evolving field.

The Invisible Web

There is also an ever expanding portion of the Web called the Invisible Web, also called the Deep Web, which is not accessible using the tools mentioned above.