Web Site – is a university, government agency or company that stores Web pages you can view.
Web browser – is a program that lets you view and explore information on the WWW. One example is: Internet Explorer.
Search engine – is a software program that acts as a card catalog for the Internet. Locate desire information by searching for the keywords a user specifies.
Portals – are web sites that provide search engines, plus content and services, such as e-mail, shopping, etc. Like
Database –is a collection of information that is organized and stored so it can be easily searched. Some examples of library databases are: Ocenet, EBSCO, HW Wilson, Lexjuris, ProQuest, and Adendi .
Home page – the first page you see when you start your web browser.
URL – each web page has a unique address called URL. All web pages URLs start with http://.
Domain name – tells you the official registered name of each site.
Domain extensions – are an extension of the URL.
When searching information it is important to learn about different types of searches:
Keyword search - by writing one or two words, you can locate web sites that offer the information you need.
Example: If you need to locate information about development in law about gay marriage. You can write: gay marriage law and will retrieve web sites that contain those words.
To conduct a Keyword Search you can write the words that best identify your topic
The search engine will retrieve Web pages that contain the words you used for the search
Boolean search – a search using the connectors and, or, not.
Example: if you want information about the legal issues of animal experimentation, then you can conduct a search using the following keywords:
Animal experimentation AND legal issues
Example: if you want information about the effects and causes of global warming, then you can conduct the following search:
global warming AND effects OR causes
Not all the search engines recognize the Boolean Connectors. Yahoo recognize these connectors if you write them in capital letters
The search engine retrieves the Web pages that include all the words you used to conduct the search
Using the Boolean connector OR When writing effects OR causes, means that you want to retrieve Web pages that contain any of both words. This page only contains the word effects
When you search using a phrase, you should write it using “ “. Example:
“ effects of global warming” – this search retrieves web sites that contains exactly the phrase you wrote.
This search limits the results to only those web sites that contains this phrase.
When searching for information about someone it is more effective to write the name in quotation marks, this way you retrieve the Web pages that contain the exact name
Second part: Evaluating information
When you find information through the Internet, you should consider some aspects to determine if this information is correct.
You should evaluate each web site to determine if you can use this information.
To not evaluate a web site can make you use a wrong information.
These are the aspects that you need to consider for evaluation:
Type of publication
If it is subjective or objective
Quality of information
What is the purpose of the Web site?
By answering the following questions will help you to evaluate the Web site?
Does this site provide the kind of information I need?
What is the site’s primary purpose: inform, promote an idea or a product?
By identifying the domain extension you can determine the type of information you will find in the Web page. If it ends in: .edu – you will find educational information .com – you will find any type of information, it may be with commercial purposes .gov – you will find information published by a governmental agency
If the purpose of the Web site is to sell or promote a product or service, it will offer the more convenient information for them, not for you.
But, if the purpose is to educate, then it will be possible that the information is correct.
Does the author have appropriate education, training or experience?
Who is responsible for the site?
Can I see the author (s) information?
Can I contact him or her?
That anyone can publish information through the Internet, because of this it is important to identify a name, affiliation or other contact information about the author.
Locate the contact information…
All Web sites need to include contact information about who is responsible for its publication.
It is important to identify this information to included on your bibliography.
If there is no author…
Be sure that the document is on an educational or governmental Web site. This will assure that it is a correct information.
To be able to evaluate the content, answer the following questions:
Does the author have interest in the topic?
Are arguments supported with documentation?
Is there a reference list?
In terms of content…
It is important to identify if the information is a personal opinion, or if it is effectively documented with references.
The presence of a reference list evidence that the author used other resources for the document.
Be sure to identify if the information is accurate, by comparing it with other information you found.