The Internet
CCC Library Tutorial

The Internet

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A vast array of resources are available through the Internet. You want to be sure that the information and resources you find electronically are of the same high quality as the print references you might locate at the college library.


Where can I find reputable web sites?

For college-level research your information must be from authoritative, reputable sources. The Carroll Community College Library home page acts as a gateway to appropriate, useful web sites. Look at the following possibilities:


One sure-fire way to find quality web sites is to look at the Subject Research Guides on the library home page. 

Subject Research Guides


In addition to electronic encyclopedia and book links, the Reference Resources portion of the library home page has links to many useful web sites, such as biographical information, financial calculators, statistics, maps, and more.

Reference Resources


Another possible place to find appropriate sites is through the library catalog. It contains links to many web sites and other electronic resources that have been reviewed or suggested by faculty and/or library staff.

CCC Library Catalog




Another possible place to find appropriate sites is through the library catalog. It contains links to many web sites and other electronic resources that have been reviewed or suggested by faculty and/or library staff.


  To find the web links in the catalog, you need to limit your search to look for web sites only. Click on the picture for step-by-step instructions.





Some of the electronic databases available through the library's Articles & Databases page also have links to reputable web sites.  Some examples are:


Health and Wellness Resource Center trusted sites – You'll see a list of sites organized by topics that have been recommended by Gale©, the database publisher.

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Opposing Viewpoints in Context - To limit your search to web sites only, select Websites from the "More" drop down menu of the Search box.


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What makes a web site worthy of my research paper?

After some effective searching, you've found a site about your topic – what do you do now? Regardless of whether you accessed a web site through a library page link or via a search engine like Yahoo or Google, you should evaluate the site for your purposes. Ask yourself:

Refer to the Evaluating Information tutorial or the CCC Library's Evaluating Information Sources document for more criteria.


Here are a few other ways to find out more about a web site:

·        link: - In many search engines, such as Google, Altavista, and Yahoo, the link: tool allows you to get a list of other web sites that have links to the one you are exploring. Type "link:" and the URL address of the site in question (note: do not include a space between the colon and the URL address).   For instance, a search of "" produced more than 100 hits in Google, 4,000+ in Yahoo, and 2,100+ in Altavista.  Seeing what other web sites are linked to yours can be quite revealing.  Let's say the civil rights site you're interested in is linked to by white supremacists and Neo-Nazi groups.  You should probably ask yourself some serious questions about the contents of the site you're reviewing!

· – This site will show you who is registered as owner of a web site. Contact information for the registrant, administrative, and technical managers is provided in addition to creation, expiration and update dates, DNS addresses, etc.  You can then do additional searching on the company or individuals listed.


Search Engine Tips

There may be times when you find that you must use a search engine such as Google or Bing to locate online information. The following are some techniques that can improve your search results.

Standard Searching

Don't worry about upper and lower case: Most search engines are not case sensitive.

Use keywords: i.e. martin luther reformation instead of What was Martin Luther's role in the Reformation?

Use quotation marks: The software will look for the exact phrase, not just any combination of those words. i.e. "martin luther"

Use the * (asterisk) character: The asterisk acts as a placeholder to stand in for a word or words in a phrase; i.e. "a * by any other name" retrieves "a rose by any other name" in addition to "a geek by any other name."

Use Boolean operators: When using more than one keyword in your search, Boolean commands help narrow your search by expanding or excluding words from the query. Be sure to CAPITALIZE Boolean operators.


When using Boolean logic, which is true of the following search?

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Advanced Searching

By customizing your search, you can increase the scholarly integrity of your results. All of the major search engines (Google, Yahoo,,, etc.) offer "Advanced Search" features that allow you to refine and narrow your search. Limiting your search can provide higher quality results. Search features vary; some of the following tips may not apply to every search engine.

Click on "Advanced Search" on the home page of your search engine of choice. (This will often be next to the search box but may also be in a corner of the screen or under an Options pull down menu.) Most offer the option to limit your searches in a way similar to the Boolean operators discussed above, as well as many other options such as:


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Google Specials

The following seem to be unique to Google but can be quite useful there.

~ (tilde) - locates synonyms of your search term; i.e. "~bipolar" also retrieves depression, manic depression, and borderline personality disorder

- (hyphen) - include this with any search term that may be hyphenated; i.e. "single-handed" retrieves single-handed, singlehanded, and single handed.

... (in a number range) - "200…204" retrieves 200, 201, 202, 203, & 204.


But I'm supposed to find journal articles.  Can't I just do a web search for that?

Here at Carroll, the best place to find periodical articles is through the library's Articles & Databases link.  You'll have access to thousands of journals through our many electronic databases. Check out the Finding a Periodical portion of this tutorial for more information.