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Web Searching  

Web Searching resources, tools, and tips.
Last Updated: Jul 1, 2014 URL: http://library.calu.edu/websearching Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Internet Tutorials

Search Engines & Web Directories

Search Engines index the contents of Web pages, so use them to find specific words and phrases. Web Directories organize Web pages into structured categories, so use these when searching for broad topics. Academic Web Directories carefully select the Web pages they choose to include. This produces smaller, but higher quality, results than regular Web Directories.

  • Electronic Reference Collection
    A searchable collection of free reference materials on the Web (almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, etc.). When searching the collection, use general instead of specific terms: "history" rather than "lincoln." (Bloomsburg University of PA)
  • INFOMINE: Scholarly Internet Resource Collections
    This academic directory allows you to browse annotated resources under topical sections, or you can do a search of the whole site.
  • Internet Library for Librarians
    Designed to help librarians locate resources related to their profession. Not a librarian? No problem! Any researcher will find the collection of Ready
    Reference
    links helpful.
  • ipl2: Information You Can Trust
    ipl2 is basically an Internet public library. Unlike regular search engines, Web pages have been carefully selected for inclusion in its database. This means you get fewer, but hopefully better, results. ipl2 is a merger of the Internet Public Library and the Librarians' Internet Index sites.
  • Library of Congress: Virtual Reference Shelf
    Web resources selected and organized by the Library of Congress--so you know this will be a helpful place to start!

Technical Internet Tools and Information

Find technical Internet information, read Search Engine reviews, etc.

  • DNS Stuff
    "This site has many DNS, networking, and domain registration tools for network administrators, domain owners, users of hosted DNS services, etc. There is no cost for using this site."
  • DomainTools
    The place for every type of diagnostic widget related to domain names: Whois, domain history, etc. Covers all top-level domains.
  • Domain Codes
    Top level domains (TLD) can be either a country (.jp=Japan, .uk=United Kingdom) or a type of Web site (.com=commercial, .edu=educational). This handy resource identifies domain codes.
  • Search Engine Showdown
    Provides review and analysis of Web search engines.
  • Search Engine Watch
    "Provides tips and information about searching the web, analysis of the search engine industry and help to site owners trying to improve their ability to be found in search engines."

Google Search Engines

  • Google
    It's Google--does it need a description? For more information, see the Google Review in Search Engine Showdown.
  • Google Scholar  
      
    Google Scholar finds scholarly articles, books, papers, etc. Note: When off-campus, using the library's link to Google Scholar will provide more full-text resources than the simple link. Look for "Full-Text @ Cal U" to access items.
  • Google Books  
      
    Search the full-text of millions of books. Use it as a "discovery" tool to find books on your topic. Pre-1923 books are available full-text. Newer books offer limited viewing, ranging from quite a few pages to nothing.Note: This is just for books (and some magazines). To include scholarly articles in your search, use Google Scholar.

Specialized Searches

Search tools designed for finding specialized kinds of information.

  • AnyWho Directory
    Search for people or businesses in the White and Yellow Pages from AT&T. You can also do reverse look ups (identify a phone number).
  • Switchboard Directory
    Find people or businesses. You can also do reverse telephone and address lookups.
  • Reverse Phone and Address Directory
    Find people by phone number or street address. You can also get a list of everyone on a particular street.
  • CataList: the Official Catalog of LISTSERV Lists
    Listservs allow people of similar interests to share ideas and conversations via email. CataList allows you to identify publicly accessible listservs that might appeal to you, and get information about listserv host sites.
  • Google Groups Search
    Search, read, and even post comments in Usenet newsgroup discussion forums. What is a Usenet Newsgroup? You can find lots of anecdotal information and personal commentary in these discussion forums. Google's Group Search let's you find information from the millions of postings.
  • Science.gov
    Provides access to authoritative, selected science information from U.S. Government agencies, including research and development results. (Link goes to Advanced Search. For the Basic search screen, click on Home.)
  • Think Tank Search
    Looking for public policy information? Many "think tanks" produce valuable resources. This tool lets you search the Web sites of more than 250 centers for research and policy development information. From the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • Internet Archive: Wayback Machine
    Browse through billions of web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago. An interesting way to see how a site "used to look," and a valuable tool for finding information no longer available on a site.
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