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Introduction to Searching the Internet
Information Resources
Human Resources
Digital Resources
Topic-Oriented Research Directories
Search Engines
Primary Document Resources

Introduction to Searching the Internet

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They say that genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains.

Sherlock Holmes
A Study in Scarlet

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Perhaps the most important thing to understand about searching for information on the Internet is the fact that it is more like being a detective than simply pressing buttons. When researchers approach the Internet, they are looking for information on a certain topic. In an important way they already have an idea of what they will find...
  • the kind of Internet resource it might be,
     
  • other topics that might be discussed on that web page,
     
  • what type of server on which the information might be found.

In the same way that the detective at the scene of a crime gets an immediate impression of the events that transpired, and then sets out to find clues and evidence that support that initial impression, Internet researchers use their assumptions about what will be found as clues in their search.

At the same time that the crime detective keeps an eye open for evidence that paints a different story, successful Internet researchers are open to different types of information that they had not anticipated, resources and formats that were not expected.

Above all, searching for information on the Internet is a process.   It is almost never a single search with Alta Vista producing the best solution for your problem.  It is a series of searches, each revealing new clues, new avenues, and ultimately, the best information for your needs.

Section 1: Information Resources
Section 2: Human Resources
Section 3: Digital Resources
Section 4: Topic-Oriented Research Directories
Section 5: Search Engines
Section 6: Primary Document Resources

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