1) It's HUGE!!!
Many experts say that is so big that 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 ...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!
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 become a better online researcher!
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.
Pick one or two search engines and learn how to use them well.
Refer to the HELP features to make sure you can create a search that will find the most relevant items and eliminate marginal and unhelpful sites.
Use critical thinking skills and evaluate the websites you find.
Forget what you know
Stop learning - start thinking and creating
Google's advanced search allows you to search by domain name (on bottom line of the advanced search form).
Entering .edu or .gov into this line will only return results from educational or US government sites, which tend to contain more reliable scholarly or factual information.
Search for articles, books, and other scholarly content using Google Scholar. Google Scholar only searches public and private sites with academic content, so you will not see Wikipedia and other similar sites in your results.