5: How to Search the Web - Find and Evaluate Web Sites
Determine if your instructor wants you to include Internet resources. Learn how to use search engines and subject directories to locate authoritative materials on the web. Books, periodicals and webliographies can also help to find appropriate sources on the Internet. Develop your search skills and practice often!
Evaluating The Web - Criteria for Evaluating a Webpage
Learn how to evaluate web sites by determining their authority, relevancy and currency:
- Evaluating Resources (UC Berkeley)
- Evaluate Web Pages (Wolfgram Library at Widener University)
- Evaluating Websites for an Academic Paper/Publication (from Kresge Library at Oakland University)
- Evaluating Web Pages: Questions to Consider (Cornell University)
NOTE: Unlike scholarly print periodicals and books, where the information is subjected to a process of review, anyone can publish on the web. Many web sites are also designed for commercial purposes and, consequently, are designed to influence!
General Information about Searching the Internet
Search the Web
Here is a selection of recommended search engines:
Metasearch engine that provides anonymous and untracked searching as well as combines results from multiple search engines simultaneously. Also known as Startpage.
Search results that emphasize human generated fact nuggets and aggregated quality web sites related to the search topic; provides anonymous and untracked searching with no auto-completion or advertising.
Provides full text of web pages and other files on the web, images, sound files, maps, map making, and machine translation; results prioritized by sites most used and shared.
- Google Scholar
Search peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, and articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities, and other scholarly organizations.
Metasearch engine that gathers results from several other popular search engines, including those from audio and video content providers.
Provides web pages, especially those related to news and scientific content; lookup; videos, images, and maps; events in the user’s preset geographic area; and social searching that can access the photos and pages of the searcher’s social media connections.
- Internet Archive
Use the Wayback Machine to search the history of over 284 billion web pages. This is a non-profit library that provides access to millions of free books, movies, software, music, and archived websites.
Search the Web for Images
- Google Images
Keyword search for images linked by text and file name.
- Featured Digital Libraries on Pinterest
Collection of the Digital Libraries of the Week featured in American Libraries Direct.
Photo management and sharing site which allows users to search images by keyword.
- Library of Congress: American Memory Collection
Still and moving images, prints, and maps that document the American experience.
User-contributed downloadable clip art.
User-contributed downloadable photos and illustrations.
Books on Finding and Evaluating Websites
- Going Beyond Google Again: Strategies for Using and Teaching the Invisible
- Essential Guide to Using the Web for Research
- How to Find Out Anything: From Extreme Google Searches to Scouring Government Documents, a Guide to Uncovering Anything About Everyone and Everything
- The College Student's Research Companion: Finding, Evaluating, and Citing the Resources You Need to Succeed