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Last Updated: Feb 21, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Why Use The Web?

The Web is a great resource for research because it's so vast; you can find primary documents, news stories, research papers, pictures, movies, sound, government reports, and more.  For research you would use the Web to:

  • Research cutting-edge topics
  • Read current news and information
  • Link to Library information & resources
  • Discover information about companies
  • Find information from all levels of government
  • Read expert and popular opinions

Web Facts

Most information on the Web does not go through any sort of review process

  • Anyone can publish anything on the Web
  • Not all information you find on the Web is free
  • Information on the Web is not comprehensive
  • Most information on the Web is not permanent

You should care about this because you want to use the best resources you can to answer your research questions and learn about your topic.



Welcome to Google for Researchers

You can use Google to find highly-reliable information for your research projects and speeches.

We hope this guide will help you learn to use Google as a research tool with skill and confidence.



Criteria for Evaluation

 Who created the page/site?

               Look for an "About us"?

               What are author's/publisher'/organization's qualifications? Are they experts?

What type of domain is the site?

              Open Domians

                     Commercial websites: .com & .net

                     Anyone: .org

               Closed Domains

                     Educational: .edu

                     Government: .gov

When was the site created/updated? Is the date important for the timeliness of the content?           

Why is the site on the web? How does it affect the info? Look for purpose, mission, and advertising, bias.           

  • Inform - the author is simply stating informational facts.

  • Explain - the author is explaining a subject.

  • Entertain - the author is attempting to entertain the reader.

  • Persuade - the author is striving to change your point of view on a topic

  • Sell - the author is trying to get you to purchase something


         Accurate does it seem?

         Relevant does it seem?

         Legit does it look (typos, dead links)?

         Can I verify the information?


The Deep Web

There's much more to the web than you can find by running typical Google searches. As the picture below shows, most of what's on the web is in this area that's not typically found by casual searching. This type of material includes:

  • documents published in specialized databases,
  • those published in non-html format (like .pdf files),
  • paid information,
  • dynamic webpages, and
  • restricted access information.

You won't be able to access all of the deep web. In fact, that's the part of the web hackers tend to focus on. But there are tools you can use to find wonderful reliable research sources in this ocean of information.

Deep Web

Source: Juanico Environmental Consultants. Invisible Web. n.d. GIF file.



Some parts of this guide were used with permission from Iris Caroll at

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