Searching the Internet . . . from a librarian’s point of view. Beverly D. Hills, MSLS Tidewater Community College - Summer 2003
Library or Internet? • The contents of a library have been selected, cataloged, indexed, and organized to facilitate the retrieval of information by library users. • Librarians are available to assist you in person, through email, or online chatting.
Free or fee? • Just like a library pays for subscriptions to printed journals, libraries also pay a fee for access to electronic journals.These databases contain the electronic versions of many familiar printed magazines, journals, and newspapers. • These journals are not freely available on the Internet. • Do you think the information you are seeking is available for free or for a fee?
Internet Search? • Very current, such as today's news or a press release from government, business or other organization • Brief and not detailed • Published by a government or association (especially statistics) • Obscure or current subject on which it is unlikely that there has been very much information published or not likely to be found in the library.
Internet Lingo Web site A “home” on the World Wide Web made up “linked” computer files called web pages. URL (uniform resource locator) Describes the location and access method of a resource on the web. A URL is for the web what a street address is for a house. For example: http://www.tcc.edu/lrc/index.htm
Search Engine Lingo Search engine A program which acts as an index for the Internet. Search directory Web sites already found and organized by subjects into a convenient directory. More like a card catalog. (Yahoo) Portal Starting points for web activities including searching, e-mail, chats, etc. (TCC’s libraries, America Online, etc.)
How Search Engines Work • Actually searching indexes of the web • Include web pages when registered by users (Yahoo) • Programs called “bots” or “spiders” search for links ON pages (AltaVista) • Programs “search” for links TO pages (Google)
More About Search Engines • www.searchenginesshowdown.com • www.searchenginewatch.com
Searching Lingo Keyword The word(s) you would expect to find in your results. You can combine keywords to narrow or broaden a search. Try to use a variety of distinct words. Boolean Operators AND, OR, NOT used to combine keywords for searching. Other Operators NEAR (words close to each other), SAME (words in same field), ADJ (words adjacent), FBY (word followed by another) www.netlingo.com
Operators • + the word must be present • - the word must not be present • “ ” the word(s) are found as a phrase • * ? # serves as wild card • ex. big* finds big, bigger, bigwig, etc. • Capitalization may make a difference
Boolean Operators • AND – both terms must be included • OR – either term may be included • NOT – term is not included • NEAR – terms within 10 words of each other
Let’s Begin Our Search http://www.tcc.edu/lrc/index.htm The Learning Resources Centers website offers databases and web sites selected to meet students’ needs. Your most valuable resource is your librarian. Tidewater Community College - Summer 2003