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Introduction to Web Browsers and Basic Search Strategies Using Search Engines. Davina Pruitt-Mentle EDUC 478. Outline. History (WWW & Internet) Search tools Search Engines vs. Subject Directory Meta search Engines Steps for Searching Effective Strategies Narrow or broaden a search?

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introduction to web browsers and basic search strategies using search engines

Introduction to Web Browsers and Basic Search Strategies Using Search Engines

Davina Pruitt-Mentle

EDUC 478

outline
Outline
  • History (WWW & Internet)
  • Search tools
  • Search Engines vs. Subject Directory
  • Meta search Engines
  • Steps for Searching
  • Effective Strategies
  • Narrow or broaden a search?
  • Wildcards

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internet history
Internet History
  • Internet made up of thousands of networks worldwide
  • No one in charge of Internet - No governing body
  • Internet backbone owned by private companies

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looking at the net
Looking at the Net

Taken from: http://www.cio.com/WebMaster/sem2_net.html

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understanding the map
Understanding the Map
  • Computers use TCP/IP to communicate (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
  • Computers use client/server architecture

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internet providers
Internet Providers:
  • Research and Educational Institutions
  • Government and Military Entities
  • Businesses
  • Private Organizations
  • Commercial Providers

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internet protocols
Internet Protocols
  • Email (Simple Mail Transport Protocol)
  • Telnet (Login to remote host computer)
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - transfers files between server and client
  • HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)

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history
History
  • WWW or Web or W3 includes all information, text, images, audio, video, and computational services that are accessible from the internet
  • July 8, 1999 Nature - approximately 800 million pages of publicly accessible information(1)
  • Web continues to grow, tripling in size over the past two years(2)

(1) Steve Lawrence & C. Lee Giles, “Accessibility of Information on the Web,” Nature 400 (July 8, 1999), 107

(2) OCLC Office of Research, “June 1999 Web Statistics” Web Characterization Project

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slide9
WWW
  • System of Internet servers that support hypertext to access several Internet protocols on a single interface
  • Almost all protocols accessible on Internet are accessible on web (email - FTP - Telnet - etc)
  • In addition, WWW own protocol: HyperText Transfer Protocol

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slide10
HTTP
  • Hypertext - means of information retreival
  • Contains links that connect to other documents
  • Links selected by user
  • Virtual “web” of connections

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http cont
HTTP (cont)
  • Produce HTTP through HTML
  • HyperText Markup Language
  • Way of writing or creating with “tags” added to tell information
    • i.e. <b> Bold </b> yields Bold

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more history
More History
  • Internet initially conceived in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN (European Particle Physics Lab in Switzerland)
  • Needed a wide variety of information to be shared and distributed to many different computers and platforms
  • “Universal readership”

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web popular because
Web Popular Because:
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to navigate
  • Combines words, graphics, sound, video
  • Easy to Publish
  • Plethora of information
  • Reach larger audience

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summary web vs internet
Summary: Web vs. Internet
  • What is the relationship between the web and the Internet?
  • The Internet contains physical components
    • computers
    • networks
    • services

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web vs internet
Web vs. Internet
  • The Internet connects thousands of computers across the world, but it is the web that allows communication to occur
  • Web - abstraction and common set of services on top of the Internet
  • Web - set of protocols and tools that let us share information with each other

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directed search strategies

Directed Search Strategies

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July Design Institute

July 20, 2000

how do i find information on the internet
How Do I Find Information on the Internet?
  • Join an email discussion or USENET newsgroup
  • Go directly to a site if you have the address
  • Browse
  • Explore subject directory
  • Conduct Search

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how does information get indexed by the search tools
How Does Information Get Indexed by the Search Tools
  • A publisher of a web page can register the site with the search engine or directory
  • Database collects data autonomously

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browsers
Browsers
  • Netscape Navigator (Communicator)
    • Product of Netscape (Now owned by AOL)
    • Originally was dominant
    • Multi-platform (all operating systems)
  • Internet Explorer
    • Product of Microsoft
    • Current Dominant Browser
    • Not available for all operating systems
  • Browser compatibility problems can cause web page problems

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netscape search
Netscape Search

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netscape search1
Netscape Search
  • 1: Access to different search engines
  • 2. Type words or phrases into text entry box
  • 3. Click Button
  • 4. Preserve favorite search engine

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internet explorer search
Internet Explorer Search
  • Separate Panel In Browser
  • Uses MicroSoft Network search

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internet explorer search1
Internet Explorer Search
  • Direct access to only Microsoft Network’s search engines
  • Allows easy access to different types of search
    • Web pages
    • People
    • Businesses
    • Maps

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internet keywords
Internet Keywords
  • Type straight in location bar of Netscape/Explorer
  • Simple words instead of URL (uniform resource location)
  • Words tie to websites
  • Can be tied to language preference
  • Example: Typing in maryland converts to http://www.state.md.us/

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know your url s
Know your URL’s
  • “Address” of a file on the Internet
  • Contains type of protocol followed by the computer name, directory and file name
  • Examples
    • http://www.capecod.net/Wixon/wixon.htm
    • gopher://gopher.boombox.micro/
    • ftp:// wuarchive.wustl.edu/pub/windows/psp3.zip
    • mailto:[email protected]

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anatomy of a web address
Anatomy of a Web Address
  • protocol://host/path/filename

See handout “Anatomy of a Web Address”

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two basic approaches to searching although not really basic
Two Basic Approaches to Searching(although not really “basic”)
  • Search Engines
  • Subject Directories

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search engines vs directories
Search Engines

Computer built index of information on web

More inclusive

Used to find specific resources

Searchable by keyword

Excessive “hits”

Every page of a Website is indexed

Better for general searches, but can be used to find specific information

Directories

Human aided, organized list

May be general or subject-specific

May be able to “search” directory

Google - general

NetTech Educational Technology Coordinator Website - subject specific

User has control of browsing

Fixed vocabulary

Links go to Website home pages only

Better at general searches

Search Engines vs. Directories

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what are search engines
What are Search Engines?
  • Designed to assist you in searching through the enormous amount of information on the Web
  • No single search tool has everything
  • Each engine is a large database which utilizes different search techniques and tools (spiders or robots) to build indexes to the Internet (some also utilize submissions and administration)

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which search engine
Which Search Engine?
  • Yahoo
  • Altavista
  • Excite
  • Google
  • NorthernLights
  • Hotbot
  • Infoseek

See Handout - “The Little Search Engine that Could”

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how to choose
How to Choose

Consider

  • Size of the database (# of URLs)
  • Currency of the database (updates)
  • Search interface
  • Help screens
  • Search features
  • Results listed (# of documents retrieved)
  • Relevance of results

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more about search engines
More About Search Engines
  • Searches for matching terms (keywords or several keywords)
  • Results “ranked” by relevancy (for some)
  • Can search by
    • subject or category
    • keyword
  • Learn about each search engine’s description, options, and rules and restrictions

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go to
GO TO

http://www.google.com/help.html

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slide34
Searches for exact matches
    • Try different versions of your search term
    • Example: “Boston hotel” vs. “Boston hotels”
  • Rephrase query
    • Example: “cheap plane tickets” vs. “cheap airplane tickets”

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slide35
Automatically places “and” between words (expands search)
  • To reduce search –
    • add more terms in original search
    • refine search within the current search results. (adding terms to first words will return a subset of the original query)
  • Exclude a word by using a – sign
    • Example: to search bass but not speaker  bass –speaker
  • Does not support “or” operator
  • Does not support “stemming” or “wildcard” searches
  • Not case sensitive

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slide36
Finds street maps
    • Just enter a U.S. street address, including zip code or city/state into the search box
    • Google recognizes query as a map request

Try your address

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phrase searches and connectors
Phrase Searches and Connectors
  • Phrase Searches are useful when searching for famous sayings or specific names “Gone with the Wind”
  • Phrase Connectors are recognized
    • Hyphens
    • Slashes
    • Periods
    • Equal signs
    • Apostrophes
      • Example: mother-in-law

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stop words
Stop Words
  • Stop words are ignored
  • These rarely help narrow and slow down search
    • http
    • com
    • certain single digits
    • certain single letters
  • to include stop words use [space]+
  • Example
    • Star Wars, Episode 1  Star wars episode +1
    • OS/2  OS/ +2

***don’t forget the space before the + - signs

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how to interpret results
How to Interpret Results

See Handout

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slide40
Combines in one search a very large full-text Web-page database (~160 million pages) with over 5,400 searchable full-text published (print) journals and an array of online news resources

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slide41
You may access both relevant web-pages and relevant journals and news releases
  • Tagged
    • WWW like other search tools or
    • Special Collection (published, fee-for-viewing journal articles or other publication)

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slide42
GOTO

http://www.northernlight.com/docs/specoll_help_overview.html

  • To obtain an item from the Special Collection:
      • Click on link
      • Decide if you are willing to pay fee
  • Page provides citation so you can locate publication in library

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slide43

Unique Folders Approach

  • Results grouped in folders listed at left
  • Folders dynamically generated by search results
    • From a controlled vocabulary
    • Similar to library cataloging
    • Not fixed like subject directories
  • Click on any folder to refine or further focus search
  • Sub-folders allow you to further “zero in”

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slide44

Four Types of Folders

  • Subjects (baseball, desserts)
  • Source descriptors (commercial, personal, magazines, databases)
  • Types of documents (press releases, product review, maps)
  • Languages (major Romanized languages only)

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slide45

Approaches to Searching

  • Basic Search
  • Power Search
  • Industry Search
  • Investext Search
  • News

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slide46

Basic Search

  • Http://www.northernlight.com
  • From Home Page
  • Allows Boolean logic
  • Phrase in “ ”
  • Truncation (*for many characters or % for 1 character)
  • + requires, - excludes

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slide47

Power Search

  • Http://www.northernlight.com/power.html
  • Combines ALL basic search features in one search
  • Limits to major language or country
  • Can select subject or document in advance

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slide48

Industry Search

  • http://www.northernlight.com/business.html
  • All features of basic search
  • Can limit by date range or industry-based subject category
  • Default is ALL industries

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slide49

Investext Search

  • http://www.northernlight.com/investext.html
  • Search or browse thousands of investment research reports written by expert analysts.

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slide50

News Search

  • http://www.northernlight.com/news.html
  • Allows on-line news searches

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meta search tools
“Meta” Search Tools
  • Multi-threaded search engines
  • Allows access to multiple databases simultaneously or via a single interface
  • (-) Do not offer the same level of control over search interface and logic as individual engines
  • (+) Fast
  • (+) Improvements
    • Results sorted by site used for search, or location of Website
    • Able to select search engines to include
    • ability to modify results

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popular meta search engines
Popular Meta-Search Engines
  • Dogpile
  • Metacrawler
  • Profusion
  • SavvySearch

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subject specific search engines
Subject-Specific Search Engines
  • Do not index entire web
  • Focus within specific Websites/pages within defined subject area, geographical area, type of resource
  • Specialized search - depth rather than breath

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selected subject specific engines
Selected Subject-Specific Engines

Companies

  • Companies Online (http://www.companiesonline.com/)
  • Hoover\'s Online (http://www.hoovers.com/)
  • Wall Street Research Net (http://www.wsrn.com/)

People (E-mail and Phone)

  • Bigfoot (http://bigfoot.com/)
  • WhoWhere? (http://www.whowhere.lycos.com)
  • Yahoo! People Search (http://people.yahoo.com/)
  • Switchboard.Com (http://www.switchboard.com)

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selected subject specific engines1
Selected Subject-Specific Engines

Images

  • The Amazing Picture Machine (http://www.ncrtec.org/picture.htm)
  • Lycos Image Gallery (http://www.lycos.com/picturethis/)
  • WebSeek (http://disney.ctr.columbia.edu/webseek/)
  • Yahoo! Image Surfer (http://ipix.yahoo.com/)

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selected subject specific engines2
Selected Subject-Specific Engines

Jobs

  • Hotjobs.com (http://www.hotjobs.com/)
  • Monster.com (http://www.monster.com/)
  • The Riley Guide (http://www.rileyguide.com/)

Games

  • CNET Gamecenter.com (http://www.gamecenter.com/)
  • Games Domain (http://www.gamesdomain.com/)
  • Gamesmania (http://www.gamesmania.com/)
  • GameSpot (http://www.gamespot.com/)

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selected subject specific engines3
Selected Subject-Specific Engines

Software

  • Jumbo (http://www.jumbo.com)
  • Shareware.com (http://www.shareware.com)
  • ZDNet Downloads (http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/)

Health/Medicine

  • Achoo (http://www.achoo.com/)
  • BioMedNet (http://www.bmn.com/)
  • Combined Health Information Database (http://chid.nih.gov/)
  • Mayo Clinic Health Oasis (http://www.mayohealth.org/)
  • Medical World Search (http://www.mwsearch.com/)
  • OnHealth (http://www.onhealth.com)

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selected subject specific engines4
Selected Subject-Specific Engines

Education/Children\'s Sites

  • AOL NetFind Kids Only (http://www.aol.com/netfind/kids/)
  • Blue Web\'n (http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/bluewebn/)
  • Education World (http://www.education-world.com/)
  • Kid Info (http://www.kidinfo.com/)
  • Kids Domain (http://www.kidsdomain.com)
  • KidsClick! (http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/KidsClick!/)
  • Yahooligans! (http://www.yahooligans.com)

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subject directories
Subject Directories
  • Hierarchically organized indexes of subject categories
  • User can browse through lists of Websites by subject in search of relevant information
  • Maintained by human
  • May include a search engine for searching their own database

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examples of subject directories
Examples of Subject Directories
  • INFOMINE (Academic Scholarly Subject Directory - http://infomine.ucr.edu/)
  • LookSmart
  • Lycos
  • Magellan (http://www.magellan.excite.com/)
  • Open Directory (http://www.dmoz.org/)
  • Yahoo

Many of these have aspects of both search and directory

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specialized subject directory
Specialized Subject Directory
  • Guide complied by subject specialist
  • List important resources in his/her area of expertise
  • More comprehensive than general guide
  • Examples
    • Film: Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/)
  • Includes Clearinghouses
    • Argus Clearinghouse (http://clearinghouse.net/)
    • About.com
    • WWW.Virtual Library (http://www.vlib.org/)

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summary
Search Engines

The Big Guys

Altavista

Google

Yahoo

Meta-Search Tools

Dogpile

MetaCrawler

Subject-Specific

The BigHub.com

Search Engine Colossus

Subject Directory

LookSmart

Lycos

Specialized Subject Directory

WWW.Virtual Library

About.com

Summary

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preparing to search
Preparing to Search
  • What’s the topic, question, area of interest?
  • Identify search terms to describe your topic of interest
  • Consider synonyms (echinoderm OR echinoidea OR "sea urchin")
  • Consider variations of terms (restaurants, dining, gourmet)

See Handout: Practical Steps

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search tips
Search tips
  • Enclosing a multiword phrase in quotation marks tells the search engine to list only sites that contain that exact phrase
    • Example: “heart disease”

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boolean logic
Boolean Logic
  • Combines search terms in many databases
  • AND, OR, and NOT or (+) and (-)
  • Must check to see if search engines use Boolean logic

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slide66

Boolean Logic : AND

Limits your search

“Oral History” & Women

Only returns pages with both of these terms on them

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slide67

Boolean Logic : OR

Broadens your search

“Oral

History”

OR

Women

Returns every page with either of these terms on them

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slide68

Boolean Logic : NOT

Limits your search

“Oral

History”

NOT

Women

Only returns pages that contain one but not the other term on them

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wildcards
Wildcards
  • Special Character that can be appended to the root of a word so you can search for all possible endings to that root
  • Good for variant spellings and common root words
  • Example
    • rocket* will yield rocket, rockets, rocketry psycholog* = psychology, psychological, psychologist
    • colo*r = color and colour

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ctrl f
Ctrl-F
  • Follow a link to a document retrieved by a search engine and don’t know how relevant
  • Ctrl-F finds the relevant words in current document
  • Example: women +“El Salavdor” +“Oral History”
    • Pick one link, then Ctrl-F

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searching summary
Searching Summary
  • Choose a search engine
    • Personal preference
    • Different engines for different purposes
  • Syntax - quotations, Boolean logic, wildcards
  • Ctrl-F to find search words
  • Try to stay focused on your task

Davina Pruitt-Mentle

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