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Open Web Research   Tags: ask today, information literacy, research, scholarly  

This guide outlines searching on the open or "free" web--that part of the Internet that can be accessed for free with a search engine.
Last Updated: Aug 31, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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The Open or Free Web vs. The Deep Web

Open web” and “free web” are both terms that refer to the part of the Internet that can be accessed for free using search engines like Google and Bing. Examples include websites for shopping, news, recipes, social networking. It can be very difficult to find to sources that are appropriate for college-level research on the open web. 

The “deep web” (also called the “invisible web” and “hidden web”) includes content search engines like Google and Bing cannot find and/or require a subscription to access. Examples are databases like those from EBSCOhost and other resources that you access through the Brown Mackie Online Library. Sources found through the Online Library are appropriate for college-level research. 

Which Search Engine Should I Use?

Most of us know about and use popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. These can be great tools for locating information to help in our daily lives including finding a job and researching for a major purchase. 

There are also search engines designed for academic searches. Below are some search engines you may want to try in addition to your research in the library.

  • iSEEK
    Searches resources from universities, government, and established noncommercial providers.
  • RefSeek
    Search engine for students and researchers. Searches more than one billion documents, including web pages, books, encyclopedias, journals, and newspapers.
  • Microsoft Academic
    "...indexes not only millions of academic publications, it also displays the key relationships between and among subjects, content, and authors, highlighting the critical links that help define scientific research."

Web Directories

Web directories are not search engines. Instead they provide lists and access to websites based on categories or subject.

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