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Research Online: A Practical Guide 
Choose a Section:
Intro | Web Basics | Searching | Links | Citing Sources | Conclusion

But I Already Know How to Surf the Web
Learn to Search Smarter
panacea: a remedy for all ills or difficulties
What the Library Offers
What the Internet Offers

What the Internet Offers:


Publication of a book can take years. Journals can take weeks, and newspapers have daily deadlines. But the Internet is a whole new medium for instant news and information. Current events are updated continually throughout the day on news sites such as New Web sites on every imaginable topic go up every day. Be sure to analyze your sources carefully (more about that later). Rumor and "Web legends" fly quickly and easily with no governing body at the helm!

Unique Sources of Information

Why go to CNN's website when you can get the same information on TV? Why go to The New York Times on the Web if you can read the same thing in the morning paper? More and more often, content is not the same. Many traditional information providers are tailoring their Web copy to the online reader and can offer hyperlinks and video and audio features. New formats like e-zines, or electronic magazines published on the Internet, allow individuals to become publishers.

Two-Way Communication

Email, Listservs, and newsgroups can be used for much more than chatting with friends and relatives. All of these resources, discussed later in this guide, can be used to join in discussions about a specific topic, to pose questions directly to authors and experts, to conduct online interviews, and much more. Without the cost of a long-distance call or the delay of overseas mail, you can contact a wildlife expert in Costa Rica or an ambassador in China.

Unlimited Access

Unlike the library, the Internet never closes (unless a server is down). You can conduct research wherever and whenever you like, provided you have access to a computer, a modem, and an Internet service provider.

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