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Published on March 19, 2008

Author: Simeone

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Searching and Evaluating Public Web Resources and Electronic Library Resources:  Searching and Evaluating Public Web Resources and Electronic Library Resources The “public web” vs. “electronic library resources”:  The “public web” vs. “electronic library resources” Two kinds of Internet or Web information are the "free Web" is accessible through search tools such as Google or Yahoo the "invisible Web" (Electronic Library Sources) is accessible through library purchased contracts with content providers, with article databases such as ProQuest and Ebsco. THE FREE WEB VS. THE LIBRARY The public (“Free”) Web (We all know what that is, don’t we??) :  The public (“Free”) Web (We all know what that is, don’t we??) Information on the World Wide Web is: widespread convenient diverse abundant a preferred method of student research But it can also be: hard to find unevaluated lacking quality irrelevant incomplete not appropriate costly constantly changing Electronic Library Sources (What are they?):  Electronic Library Sources (What are they?) To access your library resources, go to this site: http://www.atl.devry.edu/CampusLibrary/ Electronic library sources (the “invisible web”) are sources often originally in print though they are now in electronic form. Examples include: the library catalog article databases, such as ProQuest and EbscoHost electronic reference sources, such as netLibrary and Encyclopedia Britannica  Some electronic library sources advantages: indexing citations abstracts full-text articles Librarians can assist users in locating appropriate resources, whether print or electronic, and provide in-depth guidance for research assignments. Electronic Library Sources: Advantages:  Electronic Library Sources: Advantages SELECTION:  Library resources are evaluated and selected by librarians for their reliability and authority.  While the Web clearly contains reliable and authoritative information, anyone with access to Web space and create a site and mount it for display and access.  There is no quality control on the Web. AUTHORITY:  Library provided electronic resources are compiled by professionals and evaluated for purchase or use on that basis.  ACCESS: Library users affiliated with an institution have access to the library's electronic resources.  Libraries subscribe to high quality resources for a fee and therefore restrict usage to qualified users.  Freely available Internet information may only sometimes be high quality, and are sometimes questionable. OBJECTIVITY: Some search engines and websites order your search results based on how much a person or group has paid to have their site included in the search for particular words.  Library electronic resources will provide primarily an unbiased selection of information sources to choose from, allowing you to make the judgment call.  INDEXING AND ORGANIZATION: Most publicly accessible search tools use only keyword searching.  Because the Web is so immense, it is virtually impossible for someone to organize every document into a logical structure and provide multiple access points (title, author, subject, etc.).  Library provided resources are purchased from vendors who supply high quality and consistent content utilizing sophisticated indexing. The Web or the Library?:  The Web or the Library? Strengths of the Library to find articles in scholarly journals to find articles published in popular magazines to search databases that index articles in many academic disciplines to find books on your topic to locate the full-text of articles or books that are copyrighted Strengths of the Public Web to obtain information on colleges, museums, non-profit organization, or companies for very current information such as news, sports scores, weather, stock quotes to research a well-known event or individual particularly if they are recent to use online job postings, shopping, auctions, or travel services for opinions on a topic Electronic Library Resources:  Electronic Library Resources To access your library resources, go to this site: http://www.atl.devry.edu/CampusLibrary/ See the link of “Electronic Resources” in the left column – note the many databases Start with GALILEO Off-campus, use your GALILEO password:___________ Try PROQUEST and ESCOHost first for full-text journal magazine and newspaper articles Next, try the tabs at the top for GALILEO databases in your field and on your subject Usually when you click on a subject area, it will recommend a database: try this one first. It is usually the largest and includes the most resources. EVALUATING SOURCES:  EVALUATING SOURCES EVALUATING SOURCES Evaluation Criteria #1 for Print or Electronic Sources Ask yourself::  EVALUATING SOURCES Evaluation Criteria #1 for Print or Electronic Sources Ask yourself: Is the source: AUTHORITATIVE? RELIABLE? WELL-KNOWN? WELL-SUPPORTED? BALANCED TONE? CURRENT? START Evaluating Information Sources Evaluation Criteria #2:  START Evaluating Information Sources Evaluation Criteria #2 S – Scope T – Treatment A – Authority R – Relevance T - Timeliness Adapted from: Iannuzzi, Patricia, Charles T. Mangrum II, Stephen S. Stichart, Teaching Information Literary Skills, Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1999. START:  START SCOPE Are all aspects of the topic covered? Is the coverage in depth or basic? Does the information add new or unique information about your topic? Are there graphics or visual aids that enhance the text? TREATMENT Is the information presented as fact or opinion? Is evidence provided? Are conclusions logical?  Are there links to more information or references? Is the information free from bias? Is the information consistent with information from other sources? AUTHORITY Are the author’s qualifications presented?  Is the page signed? Is there any information about the author available? Does the author have an educational background related to the topic? Does the author have other expertise related to the topic? Is the author affiliated with an educational institution or other reputable organization?  Is .edu part of the URL?  Is .gov part of the URL? Is the information from a web site for an organization that is reliable?  Do you know anything about the reputation of the organization?  Is there any information on the page about the organization? RELIABILITY Does the information address your topic?  Is it appropriate for what you are doing? Does the information provide evidence for your point of view? Does the information verify other information you are using from other sources? TIMELINESS Is there a date provided for the web page and the information on it? Is the information sufficiently current for your purpose? Regardless of the date, is the information still useful? Slide12:  EVALUATION CRITERIA #3, 4, 5,… WEBSITES ON EVALUATING WEB RESOURCES Evaluating Quality on the Net Hope Tillman (2003) < www.hopetillman.com/findqual.html > [6 Feb 04] A systematic approach to searching on the net and critically evaluating the data Evaluating Information Found on the World Wide Web Ernest Ackerman and Karen Hartman (2003) < www.webliminal.com/search/search-web12.html > [6 Feb 04] Internet evaluation guidelines, activities, and links    Evaluating What You Have Found University of Waterloo < www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/libguides/1-2.html > [6 Feb 04] Includes useful questions to ask when evaluating a Website    Search Engine Showdown Greg Notess (2003) < www.searchengineshowdown.com/ > [6 Feb 04] Search Tools  Search Engine Showdown, the users' guide to Web searching, compares and evaluates Internet search engines from the searcher's perspective. Developed originally as a way to keep track of search engine features and search capabilities and to share that information with others, the site has grown to include: Search engine features chart, detailed search engine reviews, an online newsletter, statistical analysis, and search strategies.  10 Reasons Why the Internet is No Substitute for a Library Mark Y. Herring (2001) < www.ala.org/ala/alonline/selectedarticles/10reasonswhy.htm > [6 Feb 04] The viewpoint of a college library dean:    Info Lit for Faculty; Thomas G. Kirk, Jr. (2003) < www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlissues/acrlinfolit/infolitoverview/infolitforfac/infolitfaculty.htm > [6 Feb 04] A brief guide provides an introduction to the concept of information literacy and model information literacy programs. It is designed specifically for academic administrators and faculty.  Evaluating Web Pages UC Berkeley (2004) < www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html > [6 Feb 04]    Techniques to apply and questions to ask when using Web pages for assignments    General  The complete reference source for APA style.  APA Documentation Style APA < www.apastyle.org > [1 Apr 04] Search Engines! < www.searchengineshowdown.com > [28 Jun 04] WEB ACTIVITY # 1 Place in your Daily Work Portfolio and post in Threaded Discussions:  WEB ACTIVITY # 1 Place in your Daily Work Portfolio and post in Threaded Discussions At your class website: http://kareyperkins.com/classes/135 find the two web evaluation activities. Do the first activity; put it in your daily work portfolio and post it also in threaded discussions: WEB EVALUATION ACTIVITY #1: Visit both of the following websites. Choose one form of evaluation criteria for sources, such as the START criteria or others discussed in the presentation or from one of the websites in the Webliography. Evaluate the two sites below.  While both may present useful information, is it important for students to be able to recognize the biases that some sites present?   NCPA - Crime and Gun Control - http://www.ncpa.org/bothside/crime.html Gun Control vs. Gun Rights - http://www.opensecrets.org/news/guns/index.htm EVALUATING SEARCH ENGINES:  EVALUATING SEARCH ENGINES What Makes a Search Engine Good?:  What Makes a Search Engine Good? All search engines consist of three parts: (1) a database of web documents (2) a search engine operating on that database (3) a series of programs that determine how search results are displayed Because the search engine business is competitive, most search engines also offer additional features that are convenient or fun. The table below shows what can vary within each of the three basic parts in search engines Database of web documents/size How many documents does the search engine claim it has? How much of the total web are you able to search?:  Database of web documents/size How many documents does the search engine claim it has? How much of the total web are you able to search? Freshness ("up-to-dateness"): Search engine databases consist of copies of web pages and other documents that were made when their crawlers or spiders last visited each site. How often is the database refreshed to find new pages? How often do their crawlers update the copies of the web pages you are searching? Completeness of text: Is the database really "full" text, or only parts of the pages? Is every word indexed? Types of documents offered: All search engines offer web pages. Do they also have extensive PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other formats like WordPerfect? Are they full-text searchable? Speed and consistency: How fast is it? How consistent is it? Do you get different results at different times? Is there a "family" filter? Does it work well? Is it easy to turn on or off? 2. The search engine's capabilities All search engines let you enter some keywords and search on them. What happens inside? Can you limit in ways that will increase your chances of finding what you are looking for?:  2. The search engine's capabilities All search engines let you enter some keywords and search on them. What happens inside? Can you limit in ways that will increase your chances of finding what you are looking for? Basic Search options and limitations: Automatic default of AND assumed between words? Accepts " " to create phrases? Is there an easy way to allow for synonyms and equivalent terms (OR searching)? Can you OR phrases or just single words? Advanced Search options and limitations: Can you require your search terms in specific fields, such as the document title? Can you require some words in certain fields and others anywhere? Can you restrict to documents only from a certain domain (org, edu, gov, etc.)? Limit to more than one or only one? Can you limit by type of document (pdf or excel, etc.)? More than one? Can you limit by language? How reliably and easily can you limit to date last updated? General limitations and features: What do you have to do make it search on common or stop words? Maximum limit on search terms or on search complexity? Ability to search within previous results? Can you count on consistent results from search to search and from day to day? Can you customize the search or display? 3. Results display All search engines return a list of results it "thinks" are what you are looking for. How well does it "think like you expect it think"?:  3. Results display All search engines return a list of results it "thinks" are what you are looking for. How well does it "think like you expect it think"? Ranking: Are they ranked by popularity or relevancy or both? Do pages with your words juxtaposed (like a phrase) rank highest? Do you get pages with only some of your words, perhaps in addition to pages with them all? Display: Are your keywords highlighted in context, showing excerpts from the web pages which caused the match? Some other excerpt from the page? Collapse pages from the same site: If it shows only one or a few pages from a site, does it show the one(s) with your terms? How easy is it to see all from the site? Can this be changed and saved as your preferred search method? 4. Other features Search engine designers try to come up with all kinds of features and services that they hope will allure you to their services. Joe Barker, Copyright 2003 Slide19:  Different search tools give different results. A comprehensive search requires the use of more than one search tool. Overlap between the various search engines is surprisingly low. This is due to each search engine indexing only a portion of the web and no two indexes being the same. Current estimates are that the largest search engines index only 20-30% of the indexable web. Search engines may also index the same sites differently, and the different search syntax will yield different results. The Public Web: Using a Variety of Search Engines SEARCH ENGINES:  SEARCH ENGINES AltaVista http://altavista.digital.com/ one of the first major search engines, started in 1994 by Digital Equipment Corporation.   searches millions of documents including newsgroups.  gives control over the format of your results provides both a simple and advanced method of searching.  phrases can be searched with the addition of double quotes useful especially with names of individuals and phrases.  a powerful search tool particularly with the advanced searching features utilized such as wildcards, proximity operators, and results ranking.  click on the Help button on either the simple or advanced search screen for detailed explanations.  The results are displayed with a description taken from the web site as well as the web address. Google  http://www.google.com/ uses sophisticated next-generation technology to produce the right results fast with every query. returns relevant results using an automated method that ranks relevant websites based on the link structure of the Internet itself. Meta-Search Search Engines:  Meta-Search Search Engines also know as multi-threaded engines search several major engines at once. do not crawl the Web do not maintain a database of web pages. they act as a middle agent, passing on the query to the major engines a quick way to determine which engines are retrieving the best match for your information need. Because search engines vary in ability to interpret complex searches, meta-search engines work best with simple searches Slide22:  Highway 61 http://www.highway61.com/ A very lighthearted approach to searching. From choosing how thorough you want your search to just laughing at the concept, this tool searches several search sites simultaneously to bring you your results. MetaCrawler  http://www.metacrawler.com This site does a search on multiple engines simultaneously, compiles the results, eliminates the duplicates and gives you a ranked list of returns. It's excellent for getting a quick hit of what's out there.   Dogpile  http://www.dogpile.com/ This metasearch site can go through 25 Web search engines, more than two dozen on-line news services or other types of sources, and sort the results by the search engine that found them.  If you just want the facts, this is a good way to check which search engine works best for you. Ask Jeeves! http://www.askjeeves.com An excellent beginner's site that's also good for general queries.  Ask Jeeves leads you through questions to help narrow your search and also simultaneously searches six other search sites for relevant Web pages. META-SEARCH SEARCH ENGINES Slide23:  YAHOO http://www.yahoo.com/ If you know exactly what you're looking for, try using Yahoo!.  Yahoo! is technically more of a directory than a search engine.  Choose from a hierarchy of broad terms and continue to narrow your search.  Specify a keyword or set of keywords within a subject area, and Yahoo! will search only that area of the entire database. will search categories, titles, and comments to find listings  that contain all of your keywords. will not pay attention to case (e.g., "Dow Jones" is treated just like "dow jones") will stop after it finds 100 matches. to customize your search, you'll find several options on the Yahoo! Search page: search Yahoo's listings, Usenet newsgroups, or Email addresses; specify whether you want matches to contain all of your keywords or at least one of your keywords; specify whether your keywords should be considered as substrings or whole words; control the number of matches displayed per page. Directory Search Tools:YAHOO Miscellaneous and Others:  Miscellaneous and Others DejaNews http://groups.google.com/  This portion of GOOGLE searches newsgroups only.  It is useful for topics, but also very useful for finding people who have communicated in newsgroups. The results will allow you to look at the communication as well as find out the email address of the individual. Internet Sleuth http://www.Isleuth.com A 3,000 strong collection of specialized on-line databases, which can also simultaneously search up to six other search sites for Web pages, news and other types of information.  It's excellent for highly specialized searches in any subjects in its detailed directory. Searching the Web: Tips and Techniques:  Searching the Web: Tips and Techniques Use of Boolean Operators: WHAT'S A "BOOLEAN"?:  Use of Boolean Operators: WHAT'S A "BOOLEAN"? Boolean logic takes its name from British mathematician George Boole (1815-1864), who wrote about a system of logic designed to produce better search results by formulating precise queries. He called it the "calculus of thought." From his writings, we have derived Boolean logic and its operators: AND, OR, and NOT, which we use to link words and phrases for more precise queries. Slide27:  AND Connecting search terms with AND tells the search engine to retrieve web pages containing ALL the keywords. FCC   and   wireless   and    communication The search engine will not return pages with just the word FCC. Neither will it return pages with the word FCC and the word wireless. The search engine will only return pages where the words FCC, wireless, and communication all appear somewhere on the page. Thus, AND helps to narrow your search results as it limits results to pages where all the keywords appear. OR Linking search terms with OR tells the search engine to retrieve web pages containing ANY and ALL keywords. (FCC  or  wireless  or  communication) When OR is used, the search engine returns pages with a single keyword, several keywords, and all keywords. Thus, OR expands your search results. Use OR when you have common synonyms for a keyword. Surround OR statements with parentheses for best results. To narrow results as much as possible, combine OR statements with AND statements. For example, the following search statement locates information on purchasing a used car: (car  or  automobile  or  vehicle)   and  (buy  or  purchase)  and  used BOOLEAN  AND  NOT:  BOOLEAN  AND  NOT AND NOT tells the search engine to retrieve web pages containing one keyword but not the other. For example, if you are interested in animals, but not football, try this: bears   and  not   Chicago dolphins and not Miami The above examples instruct the search engine to return web pages about bears, NOT about the football team; about dolphins, not web pages about the "Miami Dolphins" football team. Use AND NOT when you have a keyword that has multiple meanings. The need for AND NOT often becomes apparent after you perform an initial search. If your search results contain irrelevant results (e.g., Saturn the car rather than Saturn the planet), consider using AND NOT to filter out the undesired websites. IMPLIED  BOOLEAN:  PLUS  &  MINUS:  IMPLIED  BOOLEAN:  PLUS  &  MINUS In many search engines, the plus and minus symbols can be used as alternatives to full Boolean AND and AND NOT. The plus sign (+) is the equivalent of AND, and the minus sign (-) is the equivalent of AND NOT. There is no space between the plus or minus sign and the keyword. NOTE: AltaVista's Simple Search requires the use of plus and minus rather than AND, OR, and AND NOT. +welding   +process +Saturn   -car couch   sofa IMPORTANT: Use AltaVista's Simple Search for implied Boolean (+/-) searches, and use AltaVista's Advanced Search for full Boolean (AND, OR, AND NOT) searches. PHRASE  SEARCHING:  PHRASE  SEARCHING Surrounding a group of words with double quotes tells the search engine to only retrieve documents in which those words appear side-by-side. Phrase searching is a powerful search technique for significantly narrowing your search results, and it should be used as often as possible. "John F. Kennedy" "Walt Disney World" "trail of tears“ For best results, combine phrase searching with implied Boolean (+/-) or full Boolean (AND, OR, and AND NOT) logic. +"heart disease"   +cause "heart disease"   and   cause The above example tells the search engine to retrieve pages where the words heart disease appear side-by-side and the word cause appears somewhere else on the page. NOTE ON IMPLIED BOOLEAN LOGIC (+/-):  NOTE ON IMPLIED BOOLEAN LOGIC (+/-) When a phrase search is combined with additional keywords using implied Boolean logic (+/-), you must put a plus or minus sign before the phrase as well as the other keywords. If the search involves a phrase with no additional keywords (e.g., "Walt Disney World"), the plus sign before the quotes is optional. Evaluating information found on the Internet is critical to successful information retrieval.  This session will look at a variety of ways to evaluate Web information. WEB ACTIVITY # 2 Place in your Daily Work Portfolio and post in Threaded Discussions:  WEB ACTIVITY # 2 Place in your Daily Work Portfolio and post in Threaded Discussions At your class website: http://kareyperkins.com/classes/135 find the two web evaluation activities. Now do the second activity; put it in your daily work portfolio and post it also in threaded discussions: WEB EVALUATION ACTIVITY #2: Web Search Activity: Try the following search using the Google search engine. 1.  Type trail of tears in the search box and click the Google Search button. How many hits?  ____________________ Google searched each of the words you entered separately. You probably got close to 400,000 pages. Looking through even a fraction of these is time consuming and frustrating! This time, enclose your search terms in quotation marks. 2.  Type "trail of tears" in the search box and click the Google Search button. How many hits?  ____________________ When you put quotes around trail of tears, it ensured that the words were searched together as a phrase. You should reduced your total retrieval (hits), by approximately 75% 3.  Type "trail of tears" "andrew jackson" in the search box and click the Google Search button. Be sure to include quotation marks around both phrases. How many hits?  ____________________ Adding the name of Andrew Jackson makes the search more specific. He's the President who ordered the removal of the Cherokees from lands east of the Mississippi River. You should have gotten even fewer returns, around 7,000. 4.  Finally, click on Google's Advanced Search located at the top of the search page. Your previous search terms should already be entered in the boxes. Type .edu in the box to the far right of Domain. Then click the Google Search button.  How many hits?  ____________________ By limiting your search to .edu (educational sites), you have narrowed your results to about 1,000 hits. You could also try .org sites or you could add additional terms to refine your results. Now, let’s go to the library…:  Now, let’s go to the library… To access your library resources, go to this site: http://www.atl.devry.edu/CampusLibrary/ See the link of “Electronic Resources” in the left column – note the many databases Start with GALILEO Off-campus, use your GALILEO password:___________ Try PROQUEST and ESCOHost first for full-text journal magazine and newspaper articles Next, try the tabs at the top for GALILEO databases in your field and on your subject Usually when you click on a subject area, it will recommend a database: try this one first. It is usually the largest and includes the most resources. Put in your search terms and see what articles you can find on your topic. Play with the search terms and search engines to find the right kinds of sources and right number of sources.

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