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Internet Based Research Skills

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  1. Internet Based Research Skills Ezra Shiloba Gbaje Department of Library and Information Science Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria Presented at Petroleum Technology Development Fund Induction Workshop for 2007/2008 PTDF Overseas Scholars

  2. Overview of Internet • The Internet is an informal, global computer network connecting millions of computers across the world. • It is a voluntary network in which any computers connected have chosen to do so in order to share and exchange information in a quick and effective manner.

  3. Physical Components of the Internet

  4. Components of the Internet • WWW (World Wide Web) • E-mail • FTP • Telnet • Listserv • discussion forum

  5. The Web • The web had at the end of 2006 contain more than 80 billion web pages stored in computers all over the world. • Millions of new Web pages are being added each day. • Some existing pages are being updated or altered while some pages are being removed.

  6. Challenges of the web • Information overload • Conducting a search can be time consuming and frustrating for the non expert. • Wurman (2001) noted that, between 60% and 80% of people searching for information on the web failed to find what they were looking for.

  7. Search Tools • A search tool is a computer program that performs searches on the web • Each search tool’s web site comprises of a store of information called database linked to other databases at other Web sites.

  8. Types of Search Tools • Directorysearch tool • Search engine tool • Directory with search engine • Meta search tool • Library website and Catalog

  9. Directorysearch tool • The search method it employs is also known as a subject search. Examples of directory/sub search tool are the Looksmart ( )

  10. Directorysearch tool • Advantage: It is easy to use. The, information placed in its database is reviewed and indexed first by skilled persons to ensure its value. • Disadvantage: Because directory reviews and indexing is so time consuming, the numbers of reviews are limited

  11. Search engine tool • It searches for information through the use of keywords and responds with a list of references • Examples of search engine tool include AltaVista, Google, Infroseek and Live.

  12. Search engine tool • Advantage: Its database is substantially larger and more current than that of a directory search tool. • Disadvantage: Keyword searches require far more explanation than subject searches, because of their broader scope and greater complexity.


  14. Directory with search engine • It uses both the subject and keyword search methods interactively as described above.

  15. Directory with search engine • Advantages: Ability to narrow the search field to obtain better results. • Disadvantages: This search method may not succeed for difficult searches.


  17. Meta-engine search tool • It utilizes a number of search engines in parallel. Examples of multi engine search tool include Dogpile, Savvysearch and metacrawler

  18. Meta-engine search tool • Advantage: Tolerant of imprecise search questions and provides fewer hits of likely greater relevance. • Disadvantage: Not as effective as a search engine for difficult searches.


  20. Search Methods • A search method is the way a search tool requests and retrieves information from the Web site. • Keyword search • Subject search

  21. Keyword search: Boolean • AND requires that both terms are present somewhere within the document being sought • OR requires that at least one of the terms is present. • NOT excludes any document containing the term.

  22. Plus / Minus • Phrases • Truncation

  23. Evaluating Internet Resources • Accuracy of Web Documents • Who wrote the page and can you contact him or her? • What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced? • Is this person qualified to write this document?

  24. Evaluating Internet Resources • Authority of Web Documents • Who published the document and is it separate from the "Webmaster?" • Check the domain of the document, what institution publishes this document? • Does the publisher list his or her qualifications?

  25. Evaluating Internet Resources • Objectivity of Web Documents • What goals/objectives does this page meet? • How detailed is the information? • What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author?

  26. Evaluating Internet Resources • Coverage of the Web Documents • Are the links (if any) evaluated and do they complement the documents theme? • Is it all images or a balance of text and images? • Is the information presented cited correctly?

  27. Evaluating Internet Resources • Currency of Web Documents • When was it produced? • When was it updated? • How up-to-date are the links (if any)?

  28. Open Access Initiatives • OAI is a new paradigm in scholarly publishing. It aims to promote models that ensure free and unrestricted access to scholarly & research journals.

  29. Invisible Web:

  30. Invisible Web:

  31. Invisible Web:

  32. Invisible Web:

  33. Open Access Engineering • Open Access Engineering Journals • Engineering Economics - Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania • Crosstalk - the Journal of Defense Software Engineering - United States Government • Information Technology Journal - ANSInet • BioMedical Engineering OnLine - BioMed Central • Electronic Journal of Structural Engineering - The University of Melbourne, Australia • International Journal of Online Engineering • Journal of Chemical Engineering of Japan - The Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan • Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering • International Commission of Agricultural Engineering - CIGR • Journal of STEM Education - Auburn University, USA • Journal of Nanomaterials - Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Egypt • Mathematical Problems in Engineering - Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Egypt • Journal of the Illuminating Engineering Institute of Japan • Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering • Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences • Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering - Brazilian Society of Chemical Engineering • Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Quarterly - Coratia, Slovenia and Austria • Please comment to mention any others. More post on open access.

  34. J-Gate

  35. Advance search J-Gate

  36. Library Website • Library Catalog • Carefully selected and evaluated resources • Links to other library catalog • Remote access to resources • Interlibrary loan • Consortium

  37. References • Bailey, Jr., C.W (2006). What is Open access?, in Neil Jacobs(ed). Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects. Oxford – England : Chandos Publishing. • Comer D. (2000). The Internet Book: Everything You Need To Know About Computer Networking And How the Internet Works. 3rd edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. ISBN: 0-1303-0852-8. • Evaluation Criteria for Web Resources. Retrieved on 18/06/2007 from • Gbaje E.S. (2002). Towards an Effective Internet Search. Samaru Journal of Information Studies, Vol. 1(1), 15-18. • • L-Soft international, Inc. General User's Guide to LISTSERV. Retrieved on 26/07/2007 from • Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2003, January). Do-It-Yourself : writing weblogs in a • knowledge society. Paper presented at the American Education Research Association • Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL. • Pitschmann, Louis A. (2001). Building sustainable collections for free third party web resources. Washington, D.C.: Digital Library Federation, Council on Library and Information Resources. • Suber P. (2003). Removing barriers to research: An introduction to open access for librarians. C&RL News.