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Internet Research 101


Research Guides & Tutorials

There are a number of tutorials that have been created by Research Libraries across the country that are available over the Internet. These tutorials can help guide you through the process of conducting research online: explaining basic terminology, familiarizing you with the types of resources available, making you aware of basic issues and concerns, and helping you learn how to develop your own search strategies. Links to several of these tutorials are provided below. Find one that appeals to you and take some time to work your way through the lessons it provides.

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Web Directories

Web Directories are selective tools created by trained researchers that categorize or classify Web sites by subject. When you conduct a search in a Web Directory, it will only pull up results from the web sites that have been specifically selected by the editors of the directory.

These directories are useful when you are searching for broad or general topics. However, it is important to remember that more "commercialized" directories, such as Yahoo!, may not always put the needs of the Internet Researcher first when selecting sites.

Some important Web Directories include:

Please note: Many of the Web sites that have been included in the Topical Resource Lists page could also be classified as Topical Web Directories.

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Web Indexes (Search Engines)

Web Indexes are tools that use special software programs (known as robots, spiders or crawlers) to find millions of Web pages. Since these programs "index" or list all the words in each page, the Search Engine will pull up any indexed pages that include the search terms you choose to enter.

These tools are most useful when you need to conduct narrow or specific searches. However, it is important to remember that no individual Search Engine can cover all of the information available on the Internet and that different engines vary in the way they organize and present the results of their searches.

Some important Web Indexes include:

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A Meta-Searcher is a tool that allows you to construct a search and then forward it to many different Web Indexes and Directories at once, allowing you to easily expand your search.

Some important Meta-Searchers include:

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