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Finding & Evaluating Information on the Internet: What is the Internet?

Searching, keywords, Boolean logic, evaluating sources

What is the Internet?

Because the Internet is so big, you will have much better success finding information on a specific topic by following a few basic tips and learning a few search techniques.

Even more important is learning how to evaluate whether the information you find is reliable and useful.

This guide will teach you valuable search techniques and tips on how to evaluate a website's appropriateness.

Top Five Things You should Know About the Internet

1) It's HUGE!!!5 Top Things to Know

Many experts say that is so big that it is beyond quantification, meaning they can't even estimate how big it is. This means you may have to do a lot of digging to find what it is you want, but there is also a very good chance that what you want is out there waiting to be found!

2) No one is in charge!

Before you start panicking, look at the bright side. The Internet is totally democratic, anyone can contribute, create and share online with the necessary equipment...BUT, anyone can contribute, so for every good piece of information there is just as much (if not 10 million times) as much bad information.

3) There is a Private and a Public web!

Remember when I said that no one was in charge of the Internet, well that's still true, but there are parts of the web (for example, this website) that are maintained and contain good and authoritative information. Some of these resources are public like most of the web, but some are private and require a subscription for access.

4) There are clues hidden in webpages!

This isn't the Da Vinci Code, they won't tell you the meaning of life, but there are ways to tell if a webpage is a good source to use for research.

5) This Research Guide will help you navigate the Internet and become a better online researcher!

Reference Librarian / Professor

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Jon Luckstead
ACC Highland Campus Library
6101 Highland Campus Dr.
Austin, TX 78752
jluckste (at) austincc (dot) edu
(512) 223-7379

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