Staff Leadership: Analytical Tools & Techniques

Session 3:      
Online Research Techniques

Date:               September 15, 2008

Instructor:      Lynn Lampert


This session provides an in-depth understanding of effective techniques for searching, and finding information on the World Wide Web. After an overview of key information retrieval tools and services including directories, search and metasearch engines, and a look at how they work, students will gain an understanding of the various services available, compare their ease of use and the quantity and quality of their results, and have a clearer knowledge of how to perform increasingly complex searches using simple and advanced search queries. Links to searching resources and informative Web sites are presented and can be used by the participants after completion of the course. Upon completion of this session, students will:

·   Be able to find information using a combination of search sites and resources

·         Know a variety of sites on the World Wide Web that can be used to find references to information on specific topics

·         Evaluate which of these resources best meets their needs

·         Compose simple and advanced search queries from a combination of keywords and symbols that can expand or narrow a search


Search Engine Usage Data

First Generation Search Engines vs. Second Generation Search Engines (Laura Cohen Albany University)

First Generation Search Engines
Second Generation Emerging Search Tools

How to Choose a Search Engine

I.         What is the Internet, the World Wide Web, and how does it all work?

Web 2.0 is it a whole new Internet

·          Introduction

·          Definitions

·          Upon the completion of the section covering the evolution of the WWW and its supporting online searching       technologies students will be able to demonstrate familiarity with Internet technologies including browsers, FTP, email, telnet and more.

II.       Browsers as Search Gateway

·          Web Browsers Guides

·          Browser Comparison

·          Internet Explorer

Browser Statistics

Browser Timelines

Using Internet Explorer 7

·          Organizing Bookmarks

·          Upon the completion of this section covering the HTML browsers students will be able to articulate the differences between Netscape Composer and Internet Explorer and utilize the bookmarking feature for preferred websites available in both browsers. Network security and spam avoidance is also discussed.

III.     Online Searching

Searching and Google
How Much Information 2003?

How Much Textual Information Do We Consume Daily


·          Things to Know Before You Begin Searching

·          What are you really searching?

·          Types of search tools currently available (table)

·          Definitions and Overview of:

·          Search Engines

·          Subject Directories

·          Searchable Database Contents or the “Invisible Web” vs. Deep Web
The Deep Web: Surfacing Hidden Value by MICHAEL K. BERGMAN

Beyond Google:The Invisible Web

·          Upon the completion of this section covering online searching students will be able:

            to make effective use of online search engines for research purposes;
            to demonstrate familiarity with online sources in a relevant field;
            to evaluate the relevance, provenance and reliability of online materials;
            to articulate basic methods of gathering and analyzing online data;

IV.     Recommended Search Strategies and Skills

·          Boolean Logic, Keyword, Phrasing

Upon completion of recommended search strategies and skills students will be able to:

Apply boolean logic operators to search queries

Discern between keyword and subject searching in online resources.

V.       Can you trust the Web? Evaluating Web Pages: Why and How

Checklist of what to look for when evaluating the web

Upon completion of recommended search strategies and skills students will be able to:

Articulate key ethical issues in researching online.
Demonstrate key criteria in evaluating the authority and accuracy of web sites and other online information.

Session 3:            Online Research Techniques (cont'd)


1.       “ Information Seeking on the Visible Web” by Chris Sherman and Gary Price in The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can’t SeeInformation Today, Inc. 2001.  pp. 17-36

2.       “ The Invisible Web” by Chris Sherman and Gary Price in The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can’t See.  Information Today, Inc. 2001.  pp. 55-75

3. “Accessibility of Information on the Web” in Nature, v. 400, 8 July 1999. pp. 107-109

4.       “Serious About Surfing” in ABA Journal, June 2001. pp. 74-76


·          Glossary of Internet & Web Jargon

·          Table of Search Tools