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            Online Research | Fact, Observation & Inference | Critical Thinking

Conducting the Information Interview Online Research

Introduction | Critical Questions | Conducting Research | Places to Start


Online resources can provide fast and useful access to information on a topic or problem. However, unlike traditional paper publications, anyone with the necessary technology and know-how can put up a page on the web. Like other parts of the Internet such as email, chat rooms and discussion groups, the web is not regulated by any oversight agency. This means that you have to be particularly critical when examining information posted on a website.

Critical Questions

In determining the usefulness of information on a website, ask these questions:

Conducting Research

When searching for relevant information, you must examine multiple perspectives on a topic or problem. These questions will help you consider those perspectives.

Places to Start

Module 2 in this tutorial presents a list of metasearch engines, search engines, and web directories to get you started in your search. Below I've listed some additional tools to help you find information.

BlogStreet. Search the blogosphere.

BrightPlanet Guide to Effective Searching of the Internet. Detailed tutorial on searching the internet. Also available in PDF for easy printing and reference.

CompletePlanet. Access the deep or invisible web by searching or browsing for thousands of relevant databases. Webportal for all U.S. government websites, including the Health and Human Services, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Library of Congress.

Internet Sleuth. iSleuth directories include Colleges, Community Colleges, Colleges Online, Yellow Pages, and Search Engines.

Search Engine Colossus. An international directory of search engines.

Search Engine Showdown. Reviews, analyzes and reports on search engines. Includes strategies for online search.

Search Engine Watch. A site about search engines. Includes search engine reports, facts about search engines, and search engine resources.

Webcrawler. One of the oldest search tools, this metasearch engine allows you to set your search preferences.