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Web Searching Strategies Independent Investigations for Grades 9-12, Teacher Training, and Staff Development
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Web Searching Strategies The Web is huge Search engines make finding information much easier when used effectively Search directories are a good alternative to search engines when your topic is very general Dont forget to properly cite information found Make searching safe for students Understand and teach your students how to evaluate Web sites
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Search Engines
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District How Search Engines Work Search Engines are huge, searchable databases of Web sites –They search the Internet -- or select pieces of the Internet -- based on important words. –They keep an index of the words (keywords) they find, and where they find them. –They allow users to look for words or combinations of words found in that index. Keyword –A word that is entered into the search form or search "window" of an Internet search engine to search the Web for pages or sites about or including the word and information related to it.
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District How Search Engines Work What are robots, spiders, and crawlers? –Computer programs the automatically gather information –Spiders look at sites submitted to search engines –Crawlers are programmed to constantly search the web, following any and all links they come across Spiders (http://computer.howstuffworks.com/search-engine1.htm)Spidershttp://computer.howstuffworks.com/search-engine1.htm
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District How Search Engines Work How do search engines display results? –A list of document titles with links to the Web site containing your keyword(s) –The number of files located that contain your keyword(s) –A brief description of your keyword(s)
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District How Search Engines Work Do different search engines produce similar lists of titles and descriptions? –www.google.comwww.google.com –www.teoma.comwww.teoma.com –www.altavista.com/web/www.altavista.com/web/ [Activity]
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Word Spelling, Meaning, and Order How does capitalizing letters in keywords affect a search? –Most engines ignore case How does the spelling of keywords affect a search? –Most suggest alternate spellings How does making keywords plural affect a search? –Most search singular forms of words as strictly that and plural as plural.
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Word Spelling, Meaning, and Order How does using a synonym affect a search? –Narrows the search bed versus garden plot bed hi-fi versus hi-fi record player phonograph How does the order of keywords affect a search? –Unless you use quotes, most engines ignore order flower garden and garden flower yield similar results [Activity]
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Refining a Search Boolean Operators –Use to broaden or narrow your search –AND, OR, NOT –Also: + – Phrases –Use quotation marks –Search engine finds pages with exact word order in quotes
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Refining a Search Boolean Operators How do Boolean operators affect a search? –violence AND prevention reduces number of hits –violence OR abuse AND prevention increases number of hits –abuse AND prevention AND child NOT spouse returns child abuse prevention rather than spouse abuse prevention
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Refining a Search Boolean Operators How does the minus symbol affect a search? –If you were looking for non-surgical treatments for glaucoma… glaucoma +treatment -surgical –If you were looking for types of rock… types rock -roll
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Refining a Search How do quotation marks around keywords affect a search? –Reduces the number of pages –Yields more desirable results types rock –rock and roll America flag yields approximately 2,000,000 fewer results than American flag
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Advanced Search Menus How do advanced search menus work? –Most search engines provide advanced options for searching. –Many of these options are simply user-friendly, graphical versions of symbols or Boolean operators –Advanced options are handled differently on almost every site –Always look for the Help, FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), or Advanced Search pages of the search engine site for more details.
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Advanced Search Menus How do advanced search menus work? –http://www.google.com/advanced_searchhttp://www.google.com/advanced_search –http://s.teoma.com/AdvancedSearchhttp://s.teoma.com/AdvancedSearch –http://www.altavista.com/web/advhttp://www.altavista.com/web/adv
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Organizing Keywords How can you make a search specific? –Use specific, unambiguous keywords. migraine research instead of headache information –Use the most unique or significant words first. architecture classical –Use more keywords for more precise results. US Army veteran World War II Europe -Navy instead of war vet –Use words and quoted phrases when possible. architecture classical 18 th century
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Word Variations Truncation Truncation –the process of typing a special symbol at the end of a word's root form to retrieve all possible endings of that word –Symbols used for truncation include the asterisk (*) and less frequently, the question mark ?. e.g., child* will retrieve child, childhood, children, child's, etc. end truncation example: colleg* finds college, colleges, collegium, collegial internal truncation example: col*r finds color, colour, colander
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Word Variations Stemming Stemming –Related to truncation, stemming usually refers to the ability of a search engine to find word variants such as plurals, singular forms, past tense, present tense, etc. without using truncation. –Some only cover plural and singular forms. –Stemming example: lights finds light, lights, lighting, lit
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Word Variations How do search results differ when an asterisk or question mark is used in keywords? –Use the asterisk "*" at the end of a search word or string of letters to find all words beginning with these same letters. –For example, child* will retrieve child, childhood, children, child's, etc.
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Word Variations Sites Sites –Truncation: AltaVista (Google allows only word * * word truncation)AltaVista –Represent Single Word within Phrase: AltaVista, GoogleAltaVistaGoogle –Automatic Truncation: Yahoo!Yahoo! –Word Stemming: MSN SearchMSN Search mlhttp://www.searchengineshowdown.com/features/byfeature.sht ml Activity: How do search results differ when an asterisk or question mark is used in keyword?
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Word Variations Activity: How do search results differ when an asterisk or question mark is used in keyword?
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Citing Web Resources Using Web resources without crediting the original author is plagiarism Citing Web resources is easy: –Web Page: Authors last name, first name. Title of site or page. Name of institution or sponsoring organization. Date of document OR date of visit to site.. –Online image/video clip/sound [object]: Title or description of [object]. Online [object]. Date of object creation OR date of visit to site..
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Citing Web Resources What is the correct way to cite information found on the Web? –MLA web citation page: –APA, MLA, and other citation styles at LIU Library Web site:
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Subject Directories A search directory is a Web database composed of lists of Web sites categorized by subject. Best used when unsure about your exact topic –Putting crayfish in a search engine would yield thousands of results. –In a search directory, you could start with the topic related to crayfish that you are most concerned with: science, biology or science, zoology or food, or business
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Subject Directories Compared to Search Engines What is the difference between a subject directory and a search engine? Search DirectorySearch Engine An index of hierarchical menus A database of weighted key words Organized by humansOrganized by programs SmallerLarger Use when youre not sure what you want Use when you know exactly what you want
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Subject Directories Activity: Do different directories produce similar lists of titles for subjects and subtopics?
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Subject Directories Sample Sites Directories –About.com - maintained by a trained volunteer editors.About.com –dmoz.org - maintained by volunteer editors.dmoz.org –www.dogpile.com/ - powered by infospace; search the net. NOTE: find the words Web Directorywww.dogpile.com/
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Subject Directories Best Of Sites Best Of Directories –Access Place - internet.. simple, easy to navigate directory of high-quality sites. Place –StartSpot - internet.. human editors categorize the net thru a network of sites. –Top9.com - popularity.. categorized directory of the most highly-trafficked websites. –WorldHot.com - popularity.. sites rated by traffic and hits.
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Subject Directories For Children How does the organization of directories for kids compare with directories for adults? –Child directories are evaluated for Age appropriateness, Readability, Interest level, and Usefulness to children. –AskJeeves For Kids –KidsClick!http://www.kidsclick.org/http://www.kidsclick.org/ –Yahooliganshttp://www.yahooligans.com/http://www.yahooligans.com/
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Subject Directories How does the organization of directories in search engines compare with dedicated directories? –http://directory.google.com/http://directory.google.com/
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Web Search Miscellany Activity: How do selected advanced search options work in different search engines? –http://s.teoma.com/AdvancedSearchhttp://s.teoma.com/AdvancedSearch –http://www.google.com/advanced_searchhttp://www.google.com/advanced_search
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Web Search Miscellany (Cont.) Activity: Where can I learn more about various search engines and research sites? –http://www.searchengines.com/http://www.searchengines.com/ –http://www.allsearchengines.com/http://www.allsearchengines.com/
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Web Search Miscellany (Cont.) Activity: Do meta search engines produce significantly different results from a search engine? –http://www.surfwax.com/ orhttp://www.surfwax.com/ –http://www.webcrawler.com/ orhttp://www.webcrawler.com/ –http://www.allsearchengines.com/http://www.allsearchengines.com/
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Web Search Miscellany (Cont.) Activity: Where can I learn more about Web site rating systems? –http://www.icra.org/http://www.icra.org/
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Web Search Miscellany (Cont.) Activity: Where can I learn more about software designed to filter Web content? –http://www.cybersitter.com/ orhttp://www.cybersitter.com/ –http://www.netnanny.com/ orhttp://www.netnanny.com/ –http://www.kidsnet.com/http://www.kidsnet.com/
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Web Search Miscellany (Cont.) Activity: Where can I learn more about "safe searching" options in a search engine? –http://www.safekids.com/http://www.safekids.com/ –http://www.rcls.org/ksearch.htmhttp://www.rcls.org/ksearch.htm –http://www.cybertipline.com/http://www.cybertipline.com/ –http://www.safeteens.com/http://www.safeteens.com/
© 2004 PDC, Santa Rosa County School District Web Search Miscellany (Cont.) What questions do I need to consider when I evaluate Web sites? –Author and Contact info? –Creation/Revision info? –Current info? –Accurate? and Unbiased? –Readable? –Useful, labeled graphics? –Enough info to justify visit? –Easier to find on Web or in Library?
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