The World Wide Web (known as "WWW', "Web" or "W3") is the universe of network-accessible information, the embodiment of human knowledge.Drawn from 'About the World Wide Web', by the World Wide Web Consortium.
There are some fantastic research resources on the World Wide Web. There is also a lot of junk. The two different techniques that you will use to separate the two:
Entering search terms and reviewing results provided by a full text search facility.
Moving from a general term or subject area to a more specific area, often by following a tree structure.
On a clear disk, you can seek forever.Denning, according to some sources
There are three main search engines that you might want to use:
"Google is the world's largest search engine and through its partnerships with America Online, Netscape and others, responds to more search queries than any other service online." Google company profile
Yahoo! was "the first large scale directory of the Internet, now a major portal offering search engine results, customizable content, chatrooms, free e-mail, clubs" and more. Yahoo! corporate description
[Dogpile] "chases down the best results from the Internet's top search engines, including Google, Yahoo! Search, MSN, Ask Jeeves, About, MIVA, LookSmart and more." About Dogpile
There are a host of specialised search engines, too. You can do specific searches for pictures, video, movie information, books, things for sale, people, businesses, news items, academic and research information and more. You will often get more precise results from a specific search engine than you will from a general search engine.
Remember that no search engine is ever completely comprehensive or completely up to date. By the nature of the Web, they cannot be. They do try hard, though.
Each search engine offers helpful advice on how to construct a good search. Fifteen minutes spent reading this advice will save you hours in wasted search time.
Most people type in one or two words, hit the button and hope. This approach often returns nothing at all or thousands of results, most of which are irrelevant.
Here are a couple of tricks that I like.
Proper nouns make great search terms. Names of people
Jonathan O'Donnell), places (
Australia), publications, (
Reference Dictionary) or things (
11) are very good ways to find specific
All the examples above consist of multiple words. You
will get a much more specific result if you use multiple
Melbourne Australia, for example, will
cut out all references to Melbourne in Florida.
Even better, you can use quotation marks to make sure
that your words appear next to one another. Searching for
"Jonathan O'Donnell" will only find pages
about people called Jonathan O'Donnell. That is much better
Jonathan O'Donnell which will find pages
about Jonathan Appleseed and the O'Donnell clan, among
Sometimes it helps to phrase your query as a question.
Who was the first person to walk on the
Moon? will give more precise results than
first moon walk.
A minus sign (-) indicates that a word must not appear
in the results. If you are searching for a recipe for
Potato and Leek Soup, but you are alergic to onions, you
potato leek soup recipe -onion.
None of the results will contain the word "onion".
Most people only look at the first page of results. You might do better to have a quick peek at page two and three. Often there are pleasant surprises there. After all, the results list has been created by a computer, and computers can be pretty dumb sometimes.
These techniques can be combined. If I am looking for a
table tennis club in the Latrobe valley, I might type
there a "table tennis" club in the "Latrobe valley"?
"table tennis"helps to get rid of some of the information about tennis clubs.
-universityhelps to eliminate results that talk about La Trobe University, rather than Latrobe valley.
A query like this will give me less than 100 results, which means that I can check all the pages to gain information (club names, addresses, phone numbers, timetables, etc) from a variety of sources.
Once you have found a good Web site, you might want to search for other information on that particular Web site. The site might provide a site search just for that site. Look for a search box, or a link to "Search".
If there isn't a site search, or it doesn't work very well, try putting the Web site address into your search engine, with the term 'site:' in front of it.
On Yahoo!, Google or Dogpile, you might
finding stuff on the Web,
site:jod.id.au. This would only find results on a site
with the address http://jod.id.au or http://www.jod.id.au.
You can also use the minus sign (-) to eliminate sites from
your results. For example, if you want to find information
about John Howard, but you don't want government information,
you could add
-site:gov.au to your search. That
would eliminate any results from Australian government Web
sites, whose addresses usually end with ".gov.au".
Once you have found a specific page that looks useful, you can use Find within the page. On most Web browsers, look under the [Edit] menu to choose [Find]. This will allow you to search for a word (or words) on the specific Web page that you are looking at.
Librarians are wonderful people. They really want to help you find stuff. The librarians at RMIT (Mike, Isa, Gwen, Catherine and others) have developed some cool tools to help you learn how to search more effectively.
Have a look at their tutorial on searching the Internet for an example of what they have done. Their tutorials are much better than mine, and I highly recommend them.
The Virtual Library is a distributed responsibility WWW cataloguing project where each topic, or division, is maintained by volunteers -- experts in the field they are maintaining.From the 'Database of the WWW Virtual Library', by the World Wide Web Virtual Library.
The WWW Virtual Library provides a subject catalogue, which you may burrow into to find areas related to your topic.
It also provides a search facility, so that you may search for areas related to your topic. You might like to try both and compare the ease of use, feeling of control and time that it took you to find something useful.
Please note: You might draw a blank. Not all topics are covered by the Virtual Library or the World Wide Web. As well as developing a search strategy, you need to develop a strategy to stop searching.