Using the Web for Research
Dr. Carla Piper
Using the Internet:
World Wide Web
• Firefox Browser
• Internet Explorer
How does the web work?
• Computers that hold information for access
on the web called WWW Servers.
• Type the address of the server into your
browser – File: Open Location
• The URL – Uniform Resource Locator will find
the server for you to “talk to.
• The URL takes you to the “home page.”
• http:// = HyperText Transfer Protocol – way of
transferring HTML web pages
Types of Websites - Extensions
• .gov – government site – www.ed.gov
• .edu – university site – www.brandman.edu
• .com – commercial site – www.amazon.com
• .net – originally network or e-mail website*
• .org – originally organization site*
• .mil – military site
• . K12.ca.us – public school site (k-12)
• .html – the web page extension – Hyper Text Markup
Language (or .htm)
*Opened up top-level domains .org and .net to allow other types of websites. Additional
extensions have been suggested and are being reviewed.
Web Search Engines
Databases of information
• Yahoo – www.yahoo.com
– Subject Directories (TREE)
– most widely-used internet catalog
– Professionals classify web pages into categories
– Yahooligans for kids
• Dogpile, Bing, Alta Vista, Hotbot, Lycos
• Ask.com – http://www.ask.com/
– Type in a simple question in plain English
• Search Engine Guide -
Other Search Engines
• Meta-search Engines –
– MetaCrawler, Inference Find. Ixquick
– Combine results of several search engines into
• Specialized Search Services – Deja-News
• Google – http://www.google.com
• Advanced Google Searches
• National Center for Education
Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov/
• Library of Congress –
• U.S. Department of Education –
• ERIC – Educational Research
Information Center –
– Journal Abstracts and Digests
– Site-specific Search Engine for Education
Boolean Logic for Searching
• Boolean Logic – means by which search
terms can be combined
• Boolean Operators – keywords
• Most Common Used by Search Engines
– And – all specified search terms appear
– Or – At least one of the specified terms
– And Not/Not – Excludes terms
– Near/Followed by – Based on proximity of
words to one another
“or” links two terms and
expands a search
“and” links two terms and
“not” narrows a search by
excluding a 2nd
• The internet is not like a library
– No established set of rules
– Not specialists – like trained librarians
– No organization
• Most useful as supplementary tool
• No guarantees that source is reliable or
unbiased – anyone can publish
• Can be a black hole – sources disappear
• Be patient – the web is often slow
• Useful information is not always free!
Ask yourself these questions:
• What server did you find the information on?
• Who wrote or put up the information?
• What are the credentials of the author or web
• Could there be a hidden agenda behind this
• The web is not an encyclopedia!
You have the ability to:
• Know when you need information
• Know how to find information
• Know how to evaluate information
• Know how to process information
• Know how to use information to make
appropriate decisions in your life
C.R.A.A.P. Test Guide: Currency
Currency: the timeliness of the
•When was the information published or
•Has the information been revised or
•Is the information current or out-of date
for your topic?
•Are the links functional?
C.R.A.A.P. Test Guide: Relevance
Relevance: the importance of the information
for your needs
•Does the information relate to your topic or
answer your question?
•Who is the intended audience?
•Is the information at an appropriate level
•Have you looked at a variety of sources before
choosing this one?
•Would you be comfortable using this source for
a research paper?
C.R.A.A.P. Test Guide: Authority
Authority: the source of the information?
•Are the author's credentials or organizational
•What are the author's credentials or organizational
•What are the author's qualifications to write on the
•Is there contact information, such as a publisher or
•Does the URL reveal anything about the author or
C.R.A.A.P. Test Guide: Accuracy
Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and
correctness of the content
•Is the information supported by evidence?
•Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
•Can you verify any of the information in another
•Does the language or tone seem biased and free
•Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical
C.R.A.A.P. Test Guide: Purpose
Purpose: the reason the information exists
•What is the purpose of the information?
•Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or
•Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
•Does the point of view appear objective and
•Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious,
institutional, or personal biases?
Brandman University Library
• Click on General Database Link
• Click on “show more” under “change
• Choose “education” -
– Education Full Text – HW Wilson
– ERIC – HW Wilson or EBESCO
Search Database by Subject
• Other Content
ERIC - Great site for learning all about ERIC Resources -
Learning APA Style:
• Brandman University Library Services -
• Brandman University Tutorials and Research Guides -
• Education Databases -
• Course Guides (Download EDUU451/551 guide) -
• Using the Internet: World Wide Web Pages Featuring Education -
• Information Literacy: The Web is not an Encyclopedia
• Penn State Boolean Searching -
• About.com – Learn How to Use Boolean Search Operators -
• Internet Tutorials - http://www.internettutorials.net/boolean.asp