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Research: research vs. web search

What is the difference: web search vs. research?

Web Searches can be very useful BUT the search is only ONE RESOURCE available when researching.  Thorough research should include other forms of information such as primary and secondary resources, print media ( books, brochures, journals, magazines, newspapers), interviews, surveys and observations or experimentation.

Internet search sites can search enormous databases of Web pages, using titles, keywords or text. You can maximize the potential of search engines by learning how they work, and how to use them quickly and effectively.

A successful Internet search can take several tries. But remember: it’s estimated that there are between 300 and 900 million documents online - with no master system for organizing this information! No wonder effective searches take know how, patience and ingenuity.

Research is the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

There are many types and reason for research but two types are most important: Basic Research is inquiry aimed at increasing  knowledge and Applied research is effort aimed at using basic research for solving problems or developing new processes, products, or techniques.

Good research or investigation into a topic should include both web based resources and a variety of other sources.


Dewey Browse

Internet Jargon defined

Five generations of Computers

First Generation (1940-1956) Vacuum Tubes

The first computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory, and were often enormous, taking up entire rooms. They were very expensive to operate and in addition to using a great deal of electricity, the first computers generated a lot of heat, which was often the cause of malfunctions.

First generation computers relied on machine language, the lowest-level programming language understood by computers, to perform operations, and they could only solve one problem at a time, and it could take days or weeks to set-up a new problem. Input was based on punched cards and paper tape, and output was displayed on printouts.

The UNIVAC and ENIAC computers are examples of first-generation computing devices. The UNIVAC was the first commercial computer delivered to a business client, the U.S. Census Bureau in 1951.

A UNIVAC computer at the Census Bureau
A UNIVAC computer at the Census Bureau.
Image Source: United States Census Bureau


Second Generation (1956-1963) Transistors

Transistors replace vacuum tubes and ushered in the second generation of computers. The transistor was invented in 1947 but did not see widespread use in computers until the late 1950s. The transistor was far superior to the vacuum tube, allowing computers to become smaller, faster, cheaper, more energy-efficient and more reliable than their first-generation predecessors.

Though the transistor still generated a great deal of heat that subjected the computer to damage, it was a vast improvement over the vacuum tube. Second-generation computers still relied on punched cards for input and printouts for output.

Second-generation computers moved from cryptic binary machine language to symbolic, or assembly, languages, which allowed programmers to specify instructions in words. High-level programming languages were also being developed at this time, such as early versions of COBOL and FORTRAN. These were also the first computers that stored their instructions in their memory, which moved from a magnetic drum to magnetic core technology.

The first computers of this generation were developed for the atomic energy industry.

Third Generation (1964-1971) Integrated Circuits

The development of the integrated circuit was the hallmark of the third generation of computers. Transistors were miniaturized and placed on silicon chips, called semiconductors, which drastically increased the speed and efficiency of computers.

Instead of punched cards and printouts, users interacted with third generation computers through keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operating system, which allowed the device to run many different applications at one time with a central program that monitored the memory. Computers for the first time became accessible to a mass audience because they were smaller and cheaper than their predecessors.

Fourth Generation (1971-Present) Microprocessors

The microprocessor brought the fourth generation of computers, as thousands of integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip. What in the first generation filled an entire room could now fit in the palm of the hand. The Intel 4004 chip, developed in 1971, located all the components of the computer—from the central processing unit and memory to input/output controls—on a single chip.

In 1981 IBM introduced its first computer for the home user, and in 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh. Microprocessors also moved out of the realm of desktop computers and into many areas of life as more and more everyday products began to use microprocessors.

As these small computers became more powerful, they could be linked together to form networks, which eventually led to the development of the Internet. Fourth generation computers also saw the development of GUIs, the mouse and handheld devices.

Fifth Generation (Present and Beyond) Artificial Intelligence

Fifth generation computing devices, based on artificial intelligence, are still in development, though there are some applications, such as voice recognition, that are being used today. The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality. Quantum computation and molecular and nanotechnology will radically change the face of computers in years to come. The goal of fifth-generation computing is to develop devices that respond to natural language input and are capable of learning and self-organization.

Webopedia Study Guide Section Did You Know... ? An integrated circuit (IC) is a small electronic device made out of a semiconductor material. The first integrated circuit was developed in the 1950s by Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments and Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor.

*article copied from Webopedia, Feb. 2016


Inquiry Questions

  • What is the web? 
  • What is a browser?
  • What is a search engine?
  • How much of the web can I see?

What is a Browser?

A browser is a tool to help you access the Internet.  Check out this video....

What is the WEB?

Many of us use the words "Internet" and "The Web" interchangeable, but is there a difference?

Yes! There is a difference

The most popular service accessed through the Internet is the World Wide Web (WWW). The Web and the Internet are often considered to be synonymous but actually represent two different things.  The Internet is the means for accessing information, the Web is composed of the visual display of the information being accessed. Web pages are collections of files and documents stored on computers around the world, formatted in a programming language called HTML (hypertext markup language). This permits users to move between them by clicking on highlighted areas, called hyperlinks, or links for short. The Web is navigated using a technology called hypertext. Hypertext is a name for documents containing embedded pathways that, when clicked, direct users to other documents. These “links” can come in the form of words, phrases, icons or graphics, and create interconnectedness between files and documents, giving character to the image of the World Wide Web as a “web.”

The Deep Web

Did you know: There is a vast section of the Internet which is hidden and not accessible through regular search engines and web browsers. This part of the Internet is known as the Deep Web, and it is about 500 times the size of the Web that we know.

What is DEEP WEB?
Deep Web is referred to the data which are not indexed by any standard search engine such as Google or Yahoo.
The 'Deep Web' refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find, such as user databases, registration-required web forums, webmail pages, and pages behind paywalls.

Google searching

Google Web Search is the primary feature of Google that allows you to search for content across the entire web, and returns results for relevant websites, images, videos, news, maps, products and more.

Google Search Resources for Users

Using Google Web Search is easy — just go to the Google home page and perform a search. Below are additional resources about using Google search:

Dot What????????

The extensions on Web addresses, called top-level domains, sometimes serve as an indication of the site's origin or purpose.

Below you'll find some of the more popular domain extensions and the domain extension meaning.

.COM (Commercial) - Generally intended for commercial use. By far the most recognized domain name extension.

.NET (Network) - This was originally intended for network oriented sites such as internet service providers. This definitely isn't the case any longer. People will register .NET domains for commercial use, generally if the .COM extension isn't available or if they'd like to protect their main .COM domain by registering all available extensions.

.ORG (Organization) - This domain extension was originally intended for non-profit or trade organizations. Again, this is no longer the case and is generally registered by anyone looking to protect their main domain by registering all available domain extensions or simply because a better extension isn't available for registration.

.BIZ (Business) - This is generally registered  to classify their website as a business. Although it's not a commonly recognized extension.

.US (United States) - This generally refers to US based companies. Although the domain has been out for quite some time now it's possible to find some very good domain names with this extension.

.INFO (Informational) - This is generally used as an extension for informational websites.

.MOBI (Mobile) - is primarily reserved for website built for displaying on mobile devices.

.TV (Television) - used primarily for media, primarily video, related websites.

.ME (ME) - generally used for personal related websites such as family websites or blogs  another use would be to create a very memorable personal email address.

.NAME (NAME) - This is intended for personal use. You'll find that this extension is used for personal / family websites or simply used for name related email addresses.

.GOV - Government websites

Did you know??????

The first .com was claimed on March 15, 1985 by a computer manufacturer called Symbolics, Inc.

The first Web address ever registered,, still remains online. Once owned by a computer development company, the site now serves as a digital memorial to the Internet's history.


Just like books, which have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) to define them,

 Internet sites have an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to define them

Important terms to know.

Website: A collection of webpages that belong to one domain or owner.

Webpage: A single document viewable through a web browser.

Web Address: Identifying address for a file or webpage on the Internet. Typing this address into a browser allows access to the file or information.  Another name for the web address is URL (Uniform Resource Identifier).

Search Engine: A program to help you find webpages on the Internet. Search engines search an Index of the Internet.  Examples of search engines are Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.  Search engines allow users to enter search terms known as keywords, which can be either words or phrases. The act of conducting a keyword search is called a search query.

Web DirectoryA Web directory organizes Web sites by subject, and is usually maintained by humans instead of software. The searcher looks at sites organized in a series of categories and menus. These collections of links are usually much smaller than search engines' databases


Tips for how a search engine works

  • When you enter a keyword (that is, a significant term or phrase related to the Web site you hope to find) into a search engine, you're not searching the entirety of the Web. Rather, you're searching the list of Web sites that the search engine has indexed (which can be in the billions). If the search engine hasn't added a Web site to its index, it cannot include it in the search results.
  • Search engines sift through text on Web pages using computer programs called spiders. "Spiders" crawl on the "Web," get it?
  • Spiders are very fast but they can travel only through the hyperlinks that connect Web sites. If a page isn't linked to any other pages, spiders can't find it. The part of the World Wide Web that is not linked is called the "invisible Web" or the "deep Web." It may contain information highly relevant to your search. To find resources on the invisible Web, see "The Invisible Web" and "Web Directories" sections of this guide.
  • Search engines don't know why you want information—they simply find information according to the words you've entered. These results are not recommendations; search engines don't rank their results by the content of each site. They use mathematical equations (or algorithms) to rank them, and the formula may have little to do with a site's legitimacy or value to you.
  • Companies have gotten wise to the way that search engines work. This has created an environment where Web pages are created and customized with the goal of appearing near the top of a search engine’s results list regardless of their credibility or usefulness. This practice is called "search engine optimization," and it's one reason that not all of your search results will be relevant or trustworthy.
  • The "Help," "About" or "Preferences" sections of a search engine site often have helpful tips for using that particular search engine to your advantage. For example, if you’re looking for a definition, Google tells you to add “define:” to the beginning of your keyword. Thus, a search for “define: search engine” in Google will give you a list of definitions for “search engine” from around the Web. Similar tricks are innumerable, and all search engines have them. Google has a complete list of “search operators.”
  • There is more than one kind of search engine. General search engines, also called “horizontal” search engines, search for all types of information. “Vertical” search engines search only within certain topics. “Meta” search engines search other search engines. Using the kind that does exactly what you need can improve your search results.
  • If you have trouble finding the information you want, ask yourself: Is my keyword too general? Too specific? Are there useful synonyms? Could related topics be more effective?
  • Do you get so many results that you can’t find the sites that answer your question? Here’s how to reduce the number of results: 

    Use more than one word in your search. For example, type "chicken salad sandwich" instead of just "sandwich." 

    Try to be more specific in your terms. If you want a panini, type "panini" instead of "sandwich." 

    Use "and" instead of simply typing two words (for example, "soup AND sandwich"), and your results will include only sites that contain both terms. 

    Use "not" to exclude certain terms from your results: "sandwich NOT bologna."
  • Want more search results? Try using fewer words when you search. Typing "Reuben sandwich" instead of "classic Reuben sandwich" will yield more results. By using the term "or" and trying a few related words at once ("sandwich OR gyro OR panini"), you increase your results exponentially.