RCLS Internet Guides
This site, provided by the Rampopo Catskill Public Library System, has
reviewed links to general search engines and topical web guides, as well
as links to local information for their region of New York State.
Research Sources - http://www.lib.utulsa.edu/guides/rsrch.htm
The place to go when you want access to a whole range of search possibilities.
Choose from drop-down lists of Subject Directories (from About.Com to WWW
Virtual Library); Search Engines (from Alta Vista to WebCrawler); Meta
Search Engines (from All-In-One Search Page to WebInfo Search); and Specialized
Search Engines (from AnthroNet to YUPI) (University of Tulsa, McFarlin
Strategies - http://www.dushkin.com/online/on2.mhtml?SITE=%2Fonline%2Fwebresearch%2Fmainwr.mhtml&TITLE=Web+Research
"The Web is a fantastic research tool, but using it effectively takes practice
and skill. It is easy to get lost or diverted from your research goals.
Even worse, since anyone can put anything on the Web, it becomes important
to be able to sort through information and evaluate its reliability. There
are thousands of unreliable sources and biased Web sites on the Internet.
They can be thinly veiled lies or small distortions of truth. Problems
of privacy and precaution for computer viruses are all things you should
know about before doing research online. We have assembled these excerpts
from our book WebQuester, A Guidebook to the Web for your use. Each
reading is followed by a research activity designed to teach you to put
into practice the material that precedes it. Read one of the sections below
and then try an activity. They are fun and you may discover you don't know
as much about the Web as you thought you did!"
the Net: Your Top Search Resources
This is a terrific site to begin your Internet search although a bit hard
to read because of the yellow on blue graphic design. Most of the text
on this page comes from this site. "As chosen and reviewed by Tracy Marks,
these are the top ten search engines, directories and libraries on the
Internet, and twenty honorable mentions. Choices were made on the basis
of (in order of priority): content, ease of use, and design. Withsearch
engines, you enter search terms and retrieve (hopefully)
a list of relevant documents or sites. With directories,
you choose subject categories and subcategories related to your interest,
and follow links to appropriate documents or sites. Onlinelibrariesare
directories of directories, or of online databases and files. Usually,
library collections are carefully chosen and evaluated by librarians who
are concerned about the validity and quality of resources. Directories
are your best choice for general browsing. However, if you have a specific
goal, you may want to clarify your search terms and use search engines.
If you are seeking documents, then directories and libraries which contain
collections related to your specific interest may be most useful to you.
"LLRX.com is a unique, free Web journal dedicated to providing legal and
library professionals with the most up-to-date information on a wide range
of Internet research and technology-related issues, applications, resources
Tracy Marks' highest rated search engine: "Infoseek's search engine is
the most powerful, expansive and effective individual page search engine
on the Internet. Indexing over one hundred million pages, it searches not
only web sites, but also images, newsgroups, faqs, news, company profiles,
phone numbers, and email addresses. Although not quite as large as AltaVista,
Infoseek generally yields much more relevant results, with the most pertinent
results appearing on the first page." Infoseek's advanced search form is
not really advanced - in fact, it's the easiest search form available on
the Internet for beginners. First you use the drop own menu to decide whether
to search within a document, title or URL (Internet address); usually you
will choose Document. Then, you choose whether or not the words you seek
should or should not appear within the location in which you
are searching; usually will choose must. Third, you choose whether
or not you are searching for words, a name or a phrase.
You may include several unrelated words in words; for phrase, you
type a series of words which must appear together. Additional benefits
of Infoseek include its News Center, which not only retrieves recent news
stories, but also allows you to personalize the news you receive, and its
large comprehensive subject directory of sites. The basicInfoseek
Home Page is also useful. The basic Helpful
Tips section gives you more information on formulating queries.
The second of Tracy Marks' favorites searches every word of over 80,000
sites. "AltaVista gives you access to the largest Web index: over 250 million
pages, and six million articles from 50,000 Usenet newsgroups. But ironically,
the strengths of AltaVista - the massive number of pages that it indexes,
and its full text search, contribute to the difficulties it creates. You
will benefit most if you search for relatively obscure topics, use the
advanced search, and carefully choose your search terms, sometimes using
Boolean operators such as AND and OR. Otherwise, you may be overwhelmed
with hundreds or thousands of irrelevant results. The advanced search of
AltaVista differs from the basic search page primarily because it also
gives you the ability to do Boolean searches. In the regular
search form, which is on top of the advanced page, you want
to be sure to use a + (plus) before search terms which must appear and
a -(minus) before terms which must not appear, and to put quotation
marks around works which must appear together. If you choose to use the
Boolean search option, you will instead type AND, OR, NOT (or AND NOT)
and NEAR (for words which must occur within ten words of each other, or
a parentheses for those which must occur together). You will also want
to list your most important keyword or keywords in the relevance ranking
field within AltaVista's advanced form, in order to make sure that the
results are listed in the order that is most relevant to you."
"The newcomer, Northern Light, is quickly becoming one of the most popular
and effective search engines. Not only does it index more pages than AltaVista
or Infoseek, it also offers several unique, additional features - customized
organization of search results by category, and access (for a fee) to a
database not otherwise accessible on the Web. Finally, Northern Light is
highly successful in sorting results by relevance, as well as filtering
out duplicate links. When searching, one can choose the Web, the Special
Collection or both. The Special Collection is a unique database of over
one million articles from 1800 books, magazines, journals, newspapers,
pamphlets and newswires, covering a wide variety of subjects. Summaries
of the articles are available for free, but most articles cost $1-$4 each
(but have a no-hassle money-back guarantee). For most searchers, however,
the most valuable feature of Northern Light is the manner in which Northern
Light filters search results by relevance, after displaying the 25 most
significant hits. The remaining results are organized into folders, according
to subject (e.g. baseball, hypertension), type (e.g. maps, press releases),
source (e.g. commercial web sites, magazine articles), and language. By
choosing the most relevant folder, one can avoid time-consuming ferreting
through hundreds of URLs. Within each folder, results that are not initially
visible are also resorted into new search folders, also categorized. Northern
Light's search procedure is relatively simple: use a number of keywords
(the more specific the better), type a + before words that must be included,
an OR between words when only one is required, NOT before words you wish
to exclude, and quotes around a phrase. Searchers easily become habituated
to familiar search engines and do not bother to try the others - especially
the newcomers to the Net. Northern Light, however, should not be missed.
Once you use it - as well as exceptional multisearch engines like Savvy
Search and MetaCrawler, you will return again and again."
"Savvy Search is one [of] the two best multisearch engines on the Internet!
Not only does it query nineteen search engines simultaneously (AltaVista,
Excite, OpenText, HotBot, Infoseek, Lycos, WebCrawler and other top search
engines, as well as DejaNews, Shareware.com, 411 People Finder, the Yellow
Pages and other directories), it reveals the results in order of relevance,
indicating which search engines contained which listings. If you check
"integrate results," it removes duplicates, and provides a succinct summary
of each of the findings."
"It doesn't try to search every site under the sun, yet MetaCrawler emerges
as the best for querying multiple engines at once, because the sites it
does search it searches well. You create your customized search page, and
returns are well organized with duplicate returns eliminated." From a review
in PC Magazine.
Generally a fast and easy to use Web searcher. Honorable mention from Tracy
Marks. See also HotBot,
using fast, parallel search technology, HotBot may be the quickest and
most thorough search engine of all. Searches the full text of its entire
Internet collection! Be sure to review the "Help" file for better use;Mamma
Multisearch, the "Mother of all search engines." A new and powerful
way to search the Internet. Note the option that allows you to search through
newspapers for the subject of your choosing; Dogpile
Multisearch, from this one Website you can search many powerful
engines, with the results in one list; Inference
Find, searches a number of other search engines, merges the
results, removes redundancies, clusters the hits into neat groupings, and
returns it quickly, recommended by the U.C. Berkeley Teaching Library;Profusion,
from the University of Kansas, Highway
61 Multisearch, Internet
Sleuth Database Search, Search
Net Happenings, from the University of Wisconsin,Cnet's
Search.com Multi-Search Page, a well-organized collection of
search engines, with general and specialized
All-in-One Search Engines
This is Yahoo's entrance to the so-called all-in-one search engines. Includes
many lesser-known engines not reviewed in "Search the Net."
Directory - http://dir.yahoo.com/
of Tracy Marks: "Are you looking for the top Web sites
in a particular category? Yahoo is the premier subject directory on the
Web, easy to navigate and comprehensive in its listings and additional
features. Most useful for browsing, general searching and locating popular
sites, rather than for specific or academic searching, Yahoo presents 14
broad categories (such as computers/ internet, news and media, regional,
society and culture), on its home page, which link to a large number of
subcategories arranged in hierarchical order. Although Yahoo includes an
enormous number of web sites, it is not ideal for all Internet searching.
It does not search the full text of each page, and it frequently lists
duplicates. Yahoo also accepts all pages submitted to it (or located by
it), and does not rate sites - although it does indicate ones which it
most recommends. Yahoo's corporate disclaimer reads: 'Other than determining
categorization of subject matter at time of listing, Yahoo makes no attempt
to review the content of sites listed in the directory, and so Yahoo isn't
responsible for the accuracy, copyright compliance, legality or decency
of material contained in sites listed in the Yahoo directory.'"
Index to the Internet - http://lii.org/
Selected and screened by (mainly) California librarians with libraries
in mind. Over 11,000 sites indexed.
Selected by California academic librarians (UC and other) with academic
use in mind. Over 115,000 sites indexed.
Directory - http://directory.google.com/
Same pages as DMOZ/Open Directory Project with Google full-text searching
and popularity ranking. Over 1.5 million sites indexed.
Built by an international network of hundred of Guides who gather and organize
subjects and write original content on topics. Over 1 million sites indexed.
Aimed at upper high school students and teachers. Useful for many academic
topics. Browse works better than Search. Thousands of directories
and key sites indexed.
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Updated by the Webspinner:
May 28, 2003.
©2003 Tom Kaun, Library Media Teacher--Bessie Chin
Library @ Redwood High School, 395 Doherty Drive, Larkspur, CA 94939 --