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InfoTrac College Edition

Research and the Internet

The Internet has opened new avenues for students conducting research. But like the library, the Internet must be used with caution. When you approach the college library, it is important to remember that all the books were written by fallible human beings. It is even more important to realize that almost anyone with a computer can post a web site. As with any search, it is essential to consider the source, quality, and value of material you retrieve from the Internet.

SEARCHING THE INTERNET

Many students are frustrated when they use the Internet to obtain information. Seeking information about Alice Walker's The Color Purple for an upcoming discussion, they enter ALICE WALKER and are dismayed by a list of 23,769 responses, including ones for Walker Engineering, Walker College, Alice in Wonderland, and dozens of syllabi by English instructors scattered across the country. If you follow on-line directions or ask a reference librarian for assistance, you can quickly master skills to navigate the web.

GENERAL SEARCH ENGINES

General search engines like Netscape, Alta Vista, Yahoo!, Lycos, and Infoseek allow you to search a part or the total web. But even the best engine will probably only locate about 20% of the available web sites. You may wish to use more than one engine to conduct a search.

Search engines usually provide tools to refine your search.
* Check the spelling of your search terms, especially names.
* Make the search words as specific as possible.
* Follow the directions to narrow your search:

Orwell AND nature or Orwell + nature
will list sites that include one or both words.

Orwell NOT Animal Farm or Orwell - Animal Farm
will list sites about Orwell that do not mention Animal Farm.

"Leopold and Loeb"
will list sites that only include both names, eliminating of documents about King Leopold or Loeb Realty.

DATABASES ON THE WEB

General search engines provide access to the entire spectrum of information on the worldwide web. Databases provide access to selected materials. InfoTrac, for example, includes newspaper and magazine articles from thousands of publications. It does not list professor's syllabi, corporate web sites, or personal web pages. Its directions are simple, and you can easily locate scores of articles on your subject. In most cases you can print hard copies of the articles.

USEFUL SITES

The Internet changes daily. Like the Yellow Pages, any list of sites will be incomplete and subject to change. The following are sites in specific disciplines:

ACCOUNTING

AuditNet
An extensive list of Internet sources for accountants and auditors

ANTHROPOLOGY

Voice of the Shuttle: Anthropology Page
A list of anthropological research sites

ARCHAEOLOGY

ArchNet
A list of links to academic departments and museum sites.

Voice of the Shuttle: Archaeology Page
Lists research sites

ART

The Art History Research Center
International index to art web sites, including universities, libraries, and other sources.

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
This site provides information about the gallery, exhibitions, and artists featured in the collection.

National Museum of American Art
This site offers a virtual tour of the collection.

WWW Virtual Library: Museums
An extensive list of Internet sites to galleries, museums, and collections.

ASTRONOMY

The Astronomy Cafe
A good site for undergraduates, offering background information and an introduction to astronomy.

The WWW Virtual Library: Astronomy and Astrophysics & AstroWeb
Provides links to major sites in astronomy.

BIOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY

Biology on the WWW
List of links to major sites in the biological sciences.

Chemistry Information on the Internet
Collection of numerous links in chemistry and chemistry education.

COMMUNICATIONS AND JOURNALISM

Media-Link
List of links to newspapers, magazines, and broadcasting sites.

The WWW Virtual Library: Journalism
Extensive list of links for broadcasting, communications, media organizations, and news outlets.

COMPOSITION AND WRITING

The Everyday Writer: Writing Sites
Useful sites for writers and composition teachers.

Online Resources for Writers
Links to online sites in writing, grammar, and reference sources.

EDUCATION

The WWW Virtual Library: Education
A list of educational sources.

ENGLISH AND LINGUISTICS

The English Server at Carnegie-Mellon University
Links to thousands of texts in various fields.

Linguistics Resources on the Internet
Extensive list of links to resources on grammar, linguistics, and syntax.

THE ENVIRONMENT

EnviroLink
A comprehensive list of sources on the Internet.

The WWW Virtual Library: Environment
Extensive list of sources in environmental studies.

HISTORY

Gateway to World History
List of historical sources and documents.

THE HUMANITIES

Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia
A collection of electronic texts in English and some foreign languages.

Voice of the Shuttle
An index to sites in art, literature, religion, culture, and theology.

LAW

ABA Administrative Procedures Database
A site supported by the American Bar Association<./p>

Internet Legal Resource Guide
An extensive list of internet sources on law and the legal profession.

Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School
Offers sources on legal decisions and court rulings.

LITERATURE AND DRAMA

A Literary Index: Internet Resources in Literature
Comprehensive list of sites about literature and literary studies.

Voice of the Shuttle: English Literature Main Page
Extensive list of links to sites in literature and the humanities.

Playbill Online Presents Theatre Central
Extensive list of drama links.

NURSING

Nursing Internet Sources
List of nursing resources.

PHILOSOPHY

The WWW Virtual Library: Philosophy
Links to internet resources in philosophy and related fields.

PSYCHOLOGY AND MENTAL HEALTH

MENTAL HEALTH NET
List of resources on mental disorders, psychology, and psychiatry.

The WWW Virtual Library: Psychology
List of links to sources in psychology.

SOCIOLOGY

The SocioWeb
Links to resources in social sciences.

The WWW Virtual Library: Sociology
Lists of sources in the social sciences.


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From The Sundance Reader, Third Edition, Web Site by Mark Connelly.