Metasearch Engines Why use a single search engine when you can use a Meta? All web search
engines are based on algorithms -- complex series of lexical orders --
when they are combined, they may actually compete/delete results from
some searches. Combining results from two or more engines assures the
researcher of a more complete list of informative web sites. One disadvantage is that the special functions specific to a particular search engine can be lost with a metasearch engine.
Internet Directories Directories place web sites into categories. The web sites are selected
according to the policies of the group that creates the directory.
Directories can lead you quickly to the best or most relevant sites on
your topic. Search engines tend to return a large number of results
with the most popular or best matches for your words at the top;
directories return fewer but often better results. Most directories
include a search feature in addition to category browsing.
Evaluating Information on the Internet
It is especially important to look at information found on the Internet with a critical eye. Anyone can, and probably will, publish anything on the Internet. Therefore, it is often difficult to tell:
What kind of document you are viewing
Where it came from
When it was created
Who authored/created it
If the publication is an original, a revision, plagiarized, or altered by others
If it has been reviewed by peers, an editor, a refereeing process, or by a librarian
When you plan to use information from the Internet for academic purposes, you should consider the following criteria and ask yourself the corresponding questions:
Is the information presented accurate?
Are the facts verifiable from other sources?
Is the information presented clearly, with few mechanical and grammatical errors?
Who is the author of the document?
Is the author the original creator of the information?
Is the author an expert on the topic or a professional in the field?
Does the material inform, explain, or persuade?
Does the author have a bias?
Is the author affiliated with particular organizations, institutions, or associations? Does the organization supporting the site have a particular point of view?
Is the information presented fact or opinion?
On what date was the page created?
Do you need more current information?
Do links on the site still connect to their destinations?
Would you quote information from this site in a college research paper?
Is the type of material appropriate for the assignment?
Does the source include a bibliography or citations that can be used for comparing or verifying information?