Searching the Free Web


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  • Sample search on abortionSample search on “abortion rights” “shelsilverstein”Have about us; sponsors?; Look at 2. Advanced search and featuresWhat are differences between regular search, meta and directories?Try sample search for same terms in each one. Note how results differ.Global warming Ernest Hemingway (Google scholar)Give handout for search tool comparisons.
  • Know the 3 types of Web search toolsKnow what to look for in eachHave a favorite, learn to use it, but try othersEvaluate, Evaluate, EvaluateRecapAssignment ; discussion
  • Searching the Free Web

    1. 1. 2 THE WEB: SEARCHING When would you use the free Web for research?  To get started looking for information about a topic that you know little about Example: Social media To find facts or statistics to support your writings Example: Social networking
    2. 2. 3 THE WEB: TIPS FOR SEARCHING  Use the Web to begin an exploration of your topic.  Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate when using the Web for an academic assignment. If in doubt, ASK your instructor.  Get familiar with your search tools special features (field searching and limiters).  The free Web is NOT a library resource.  The Web is a self-publishing resource! (Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate.)  Google does not find “everything”. (Use other tools, i.e. Google Scholar, OpenDOAR)  Remember to ask yourself, „Where else can I look for information about this topic‟?
    3. 3. BASIC TOOLS FOR ONLINE RESEARCH There are three electronic tools used to locate information:  Web Search Engines Locate electronic websites, books, journals, magazines, newspapers, videos, and audio materials. May or may not be free.  Catalogs Provide the physical location of print books, journals, magazines, newspapers, videos, and audio materials in a collection. The material may or may not be electronic. Free to members of the library.  Databases Locate electronic websites, books, journals, magazines, newspapers, videos, and audio materials. Free to members of the library. This module will discuss how what type of information you can find on the free web using search engines, and how to evaluate that information.
    4. 4. THE WEB: DISORGANIZED BY DESIGN The Internet is a network of networks connecting many computers all over the world  The World Wide Web is a component of the Internet The Web is Dynamic and ever-changing  Web sites and documents appear, are deleted, or are moved to a different location each day
    5. 5. THE WEB: DISORGANIZED BY DESIGN  The Web is not organized in any standard way  Finding relevant information often seems impossible/overwhelming  Several basic types of tools used to find information on the web:  Search engines  Meta-search engines  Metasites  Directories
    6. 6. THE WEB: SEARCHING  Search engine Software that searches the Internet websites for terms matching a keyword that you have entered. There is no human analysis of results. How do these work? Google Yahoo! Bing  Meta-search engine Software that queries multiple search engines for your term and combines the results. Again, no human analysis of results. Dogpile Clusty Try a search or two in each of the search (or meta search) engines, and see how they differ. What results come up in both searches?
    7. 7. THE WEB: SEARCHING  Subject directory (academic and commercial; add human element) Search tool, usually a website, created by editors or trained researchers who categorize or classify Web sites by subject. Sweet Search IRSC LibGuides InteYahoo Directory (lacks site evaluation) (subject guide owned by NYTimes) Open Directory These results are have a “human touch”, in other words; they are evaluated before you see them. Do the same search here that you did on the previous slide. How are these results different?
    8. 8. 9 THE WEB What you DON’T find “free” on the Web:  Publications from publishing companies and authors Textbooks, best sellers  Publications from field experts and scholars Usually published in highly respected journals or university publications. Some journals provide abstracts of articles and might even make an article or two freely available online. The journal, Pediatrics, is one example. Usually, the library‟s online databases are the most efficient way to find subscription articles.  Print only materials Not ALL Print materials are digitized  Much historical information Popular demand and digitization cost restrictions
    9. 9. 10 THE WEB: FREE RESOURCES What do you find “free” on the Web?   Current news  Government information  Company and business resources  Consumer medical information  Demographics and statistics  Opinions and views on current issues The free web often provides the most up-to-date governmental and corporate results. You can also find commentary, opinions, and current news.
    10. 10. 11 THE WEB: SEARCHING For more specific results, try Google’s Advanced Search.  Use phrase searching (i.e., quotations “”)  Limit to a specific file type (PDF, Excel, Word)  Limit domain (  Use in title searching (intitle:facebook)
    11. 11. THE WEB: RESOURCES The Web will usually have the most current statistical information available. Limit your search to to find a government entity responsible for the statistics you need. Add the word statistics to your keyword search to find the information you need.      Bureau of Labor Statistics American FactFinder: U S Census Bureau NCES - National Center for Education Statistics Florida Charts National Center for Health Statistics Example: “social media” statistics united states Remember, all web sources should be evaluated before use.
    12. 12. 13 THE WEB: EVALUATING Standard Web evaluation criteria: 1. States the author or source of the information (check domain) 2. Clearly indicates its purpose or point of view (Look at “About Us”) 3. Posts the date the material was written and/or revised 4. Provides links to reputable web sites 5. Provides accurate data (compare with other sources) 6. Is well designed and organized Quick Web evaluation criteria: 1. Check the top level domain. 2. Find and read “About Us” 3. Identify the author (credentials). 4. How current is the information?
    13. 13. 14 THE WEB: EVALUATING DOMAINS .com .edu .gov .org .net commercial for profit sites Companies and individuals advertise, sell products, and publish annual reports and other company information on the Web. Many online newspapers or magazines are .com. educational sites Educational sites can be good sources of information, but remember that institutions do not always endorse the information published by faculty and students. governmental sites Federal and state government agencies use the Web to publish legislation, census information, weather data, tax forms and many other documents. These are free and reliable sources of information. organizations and association sites network administrative site .mil .museum .coop .int & more
    14. 14. THE WEB: EVALUATION ACTIVITY Read these news reports and evaluate them for:     Authority Objectivity Relevancy Currency  Website 1  Website 2  Website 3 1. Check the top level domain. 2. Find and read “About Us” 3. Identify the author (credentials) 4. How current is the information?
    15. 15. BRIDGING THE GAP: OPEN SOURCE/OPEN ACCESS Traditionally commercial resources provided for free on the web. Open Source is Software  Users often solve bugs to fix problems  Often can be used as a substitute for more expensive programs.  Ex. Photoshop Vs. Gimp Open Access is Content  Educational Material (Scholarly Journals)  Public Library of Science Open access content can be peerreviewed and scholarly, but make sure you evaluate it!