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Research Paper Help: World Wide Web

When using text or image sources from the Web, be sure to respect the laws of copyright.

Searching the Web

The material on Web sites goes through no editorial process. Anyone can publish on the Web, and material does not have to be updated or maintained. In order to select high quality material,evaluate the Web site you plan to use in your research paper. Print the page(s) you cited, because Web material can change daily.

Not all published information is on the Web.  The best information for your research paper may be available only in print format.

Since search tools are searched differently and return different results, use at least two different information formats in your research. (Example: Online database and print source)

Remember: no single search tool indexes all of the Web.

Meta Search Engines

Meta search engines attempt to search several different Web search tools (both search engines and subject directories) with one search. The problem with these search tools is that they cannot take advantage of unique search features within any tool.

Popular meta search engines include DogPile (which searches more of the large search engines than any other meta search engine) and Startpage.

Specialized Information Engines

Finding Specialized Information

  • News
    Besides the more common ways of finding news sources on the Web, which includes using the major news networks and news services, there are news search engines which cover multiple news sites and news wires. These include Google News Search, and Bing News.
  • Pictures
    The Web is more visual in content than ever before. There are several sites devoted to searching for this content. These include picsearch, Flickr, and Google Image Search. Another valuable source includes the U.S. Government Images site. Be aware of copyright restrictions when using any of these sources. You may see the Creative Commons stamp, which informs you about the copyright of that image.  
    Respect the copyright of the resource you’ve selected, and give credit where it’s due!
  • Videos
    YouTube, Google Video Search and Bing Videos all provide links to videos. Another valuable source is History.com Video Gallery. Be aware of copyright restrictions when using any of these sources. You may see the Creative Commons stamp,
    which informs you about the copyright of that image. 
  • Audio Files
    Several search tools are available to locate sounds, including wav, aiff, au and mp3 file formats. These include FindSounds and 
    History and Politics Out Loud: Famous Speeches. Be aware of copyright restrictions when using sound files. You may see the Creative Commons stamp.  Follow the directions for obeying copyright when using that resource!