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NGR 6801 - Research Methods: Internet

Internet / World Wide Web Sites

What’s the Difference between the World Wide Web and the Internet?

The terms Internet and World Wide Web (WWW) are often used to mean the same thing. Actually, there are distinct differences.

The Internet is a network of networks that connects millions of computers together. Information (like e-mail, chat, instant messaging, and file transfers) is communicated over the Internet via a variety of languages known as protocols.

The World Wide Web is just one of the services deployed on the Internet, using specific protocols (like http or hyper text transfer protocol). The WWW is made up of Web servers that store and distribute Web pages, which can be viewed using Web browsers, like Firefox or Explorer. The core of Web technology is the hyperlink (the URL address), which can connect documents to each other by clicking a link.

What are Search Engines and Meta Search Engines?


Search Engines scan an index of web sites and list those sites that match the criteria you specified in the search box. This is similar to looking for keywords. Examples of search engines are Google,, and Yahoo

Meta Search Engines search through the indexes of individual search engines simultaneously. Examples of meta search engines are: Dogpile, Kartoo and

What are Search Directories?


Subject directories are collections of websites that include World Wide Web resources selected by people who are sometimes experts in their field. These sites are arranged and classified in a logical manner. The DMOZ Open Directory Project is a comprehensive subject directory that is international in scope. Yahoo is both a search engine and a subject directory.
What is Google Scholar?


Google Scholar is an example of a search engine that covers scholarly literature. Results may include abstracts and full text articles. Keep in mind that a significant amount of the results indexed by Google Scholar are not online or are available only by subscription. To enable direct links to full text owned by UCF, click on ‘Scholar Preferences’ (located to the right of the search box). At ‘Library Links’ type in University of Central Florida, then click ‘Find Library’ and check the box ‘University of Central Florida Libraries Full Text at UCF)’. This will allow you to link from Google Scholar and access subscription articles owned by UCF (using your activated library ID number).
Is there really an Invisible Web?


Invisible or Deep Web are sites or databases that are not accessed by search engines. You locate the site and then use the search feature on the site to locate information. Examples of portals to these sites are  or

Is there a way to only get pictures from the web?


Many search engines have features that enable users to search for images on the Internet. Both Google and picsearch  have advanced image searches that allow users to search for pictures and images by size, coloration, and domain (government sites, education sites, etc.).
Where should I go to get more help?


The rules for using Internet search tools differ, so check to see what HELP is provided.  A single search engine may cover a fraction of the World Wide Web, so don’t rely on just one search tool. World Wide Web searching is different from searching a database. The results are constantly changing.
Why is it important to critically evaluate information found on the Web?


Anyone can have a web page and publish information on the Web. The Web does not have reviewers or editors; No quality control.  There is no guarantee that the information you find is accurate.  Many pages are not updated.

What is an easy way to gain information about a site?


You may get a hint to a website’s intention by looking at the extension (or domain) in the URL or web address:
  • Government resources – .gov, .mil
  • Educational or research information- .edu
  • Nonprofit organizations - .org
  • Commercial or company sites - .com


Personal page – look for a personal name after a tilde (~jsmith) or % sign, or sometimes the words member or users.

How do I identify and get information about the “author”?


Is there an author? What do we know about the author? Is he/she an authority in the field? What is the author’s occupation? Can you find information about the author in another source, e.g. directory or encyclopedia?

Is there an organization or group connected to the web site? What can you find out about the organization? Look for an “About Us” link. If you end up with just a document, look for a link to “home” for more information on the web site.

Who pays for the web site?

How do I decide the “purpose of the site”?


Is the purpose of the site to explain? Inform? Persuade?  Sell?

Look at “About Us”, “Background” and/or "Mission" links for more information about purpose of the site.

Is the site biased? Is the information accurate? If you’re not sure, check another source. Is it scholarly? Are there references?

How do I find out when the document or web site was written, created or revised?


Look for a "last updated" date often located at the bottom of the page.

How recent is the information? Is it too old?

Are the links active and accurate?

Isn’t everything on the web free for everyone to use?


Consider everything you find on the Internet/Web as copyrighted unless otherwise stated. You must give credit to the author or organization that created the web site, document, graph, image, etc.

Always document or cite (give the author credit) the sources you use.

Documenting allows other people to read in more depth from the sources you used in your paper. Documenting demonstrates the depth of your research.

For more information, see the UCF Libraries Copyright Policies and Guidelines website:

How do I format citations for Internet information?


Use a style manual, such as APA (American Psychological Association), or MLA(Modern Language Association).



If you are citing a document within a web site use the URL for that document, for example: