Internet research guides

If you want to research specific and reliable infomation on the Web you’ll quickly be presented with numerous annoying problems. I ask attendees at my seminars to name their most vexing recurrent difficulties when staring at results from a search engine query. They say just what you’re thinking: There are too many links to sift through to pinpoint the ones that are useful. The Internet is chaotic, but there is an overlay of order, in the form of subject directories, guides and tutorials, much of it provided by University libraries.

The Internet tutorial from the University of California at Berkeley charts the effective ways to structure an Internet search engine query. This Web site also lists the advantages and characteristics of 6 of the major subject directories.

Research guides on assessing the reliability of Web sites are offered by Virtual Chase, UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University.

Have you fretted over the appropriate style for identifying Web sources? The Internet Public Library gives examples of the recommended standard for citing Web derived source information.

Writing styles vary, but if you know The Elements of Style, you’re better equipped to make some of your own.

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