15 August 2008

The Internet Research Process

The Internet can be a researcher's dream comes true. By browsing the Internet, much as you would browse the shelves of a library, you can access information on seemingly limitless topics. In addition, web-based catalogs are available in many libraries to assist researchers in locating printed books, journals, government documents, and other materials.

Possibly the biggest obstacle facing researchers on the Internet is how to effectively and efficiently access the vast amount of information available with the simple click of the mouse. With the Internet's potential as a research tool, on manageable strategies for sorting through the abundance of information. The search for reliable resources can be both overwhelming and frustrating if researcher are left on their own in their initial search. A few simple guidelines can make conducting research more manageable, reliable, and fun.

The Research Process:
Lessons and projects should be designed so that research time on the Web can be maximized in terms of efficiency. This may mean gathering necessary information beforehand.
Step 1: Questioning ---Before going on the Internet, researcher should structure their questions.
Step 2: Planning---Researcher should develop a search strategy with a list of sites to investigate.
Step 3: Gathering --- Researcher use the Web to collect and gather information.
Step 4: Sorting & Sifting --- Researcher analyze and categorize the data they gathered on the Web.
Step 5: Synthesizing --- Researcher integrate the information into the lesson, and draw conclusions.
Step 6: Evaluating --- Researcher assess the results, and if necessary, begin the process again.

Searching the Web:
There are millions of pages of information on the World Wide Web, and finding relevant and reliable information can be a challenge. Search engines are powerful tools that index millions of web sites. When entering a keyword into a search engine, you will receive a list with the number of hits or results and links to the related sites. The number of hits you receive may vary a great deal among different search engines. Some engines search only the titles of the web sites, and others search the full text.

One place to begin a web search is on the search pages that are maintained by Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer. If you click Search on the Netscape Navigator menu bar, you will go to a page that provides quick access to many different search tools. You can select the search engine you want to use from those pages rather than accessing each search engine site directly.

Techniques for using the different search tools vary. For best results, read the search tips or hints that are provided at each search site. Also, note that some of the search engines do not allow Boolean searches that combine words with the logical connectors of AND, OR, or NOT.

Common commands for search engines include:

· Quotation Marks ( " )Using quotation marks will help to find specific phrases involving more than one word. For example: "Martin Luther King"
· Addition Sign ( + )Adding a + sign before a word means that it MUST be included in each site listed. For example: + Florida + taxes
· Subtraction Sign ( - )Adding a - sign before a word means that it will NOT appear in the sites listed. For example: + Washington -DC
· Asterisks ( * )Asterisks can be used for wild-cards in some search engines. For example: Mexic* will look for Mexico, Mexican, Mexicali, etc.
· Specific File (PDF, PPT, DOC, RTF Etc.) Adding a comma with File format name it will show you the content.

To Plan The Best Search Strategy

The Web is potentially a terrific place to get information on almost any topic. Doing research without leaving your desk sounds like a great idea, but all too often you end up wasting precious time chasing down useless URLs. Almost everyone agrees that there's gotta be a better way! But for now we're stuck with making the best use of the search tools that already exist on the Web.

It's important to give some thought to your search strategy. Are you just beginning to amass knowledge on a fairly broad subject? Or do you have a specific objective in mind--like finding out everything you can about carpal tunnel syndrome, or the e-mail address of your old college roommate?

If you're more interested in broad, general information, the first place to go is to a Web Directory. If you're after narrow, specific information, a Web search engine is probably a better choice. In the next article we take a detail insight how search engine works & their mechanism.