Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Web Search

Everyday new information is becoming available to anyone and everyone in the world who can reach a computer. Learning about the Internet, the free exchange of information and its potential for all of us to share information across the rapidly expanding global community are important concepts and skills for us all, especially individuals interested in learning.

Although it will require some time to become profencient using these new technologies, learning how to use the Internet, search for information via Web browsers and search engine programs and evaluate what you find will be invaluable to your future success. You will find the Internet a useful tool (if used wisely) for answering questions, learning more about a topic, and completing your work.

Please remember that any one can publish a web page and not all information is valid or useful. In some cases, you may need to be creative in the methods or wording of your searches to find the information you desire. If you are looking for information to be included in written assignments, remember to copy down the web address and "publisher" as well as the information you find. Never copy information directly and pretend that you wrote it; its just not necessary.

As you search for a topic(s), try and find the best World-Wide Web site (not just individual pages) which will provide useful information in depth.  Look for Web sites which seem to provide a variety of valuable information and do not forget to look for links to other sites when you are visiting a site. Some browers will let you save a site as a seperate file on your computer for reference later.

Helpful Hints on Searching the Internet:

• Use a variety of related terms in your search attempts.

• If you find a good site, it may have other links to good sites - take some time and look.

• Some internet search engines have topics listed by "category" - see "Yahoo" for examples. This may help to narrow your search.

• Look for sites associated with plant organizations, clubs, colleges, museums, government departments (Federal, State, and County), special interest groups and commersial sites. Some business will provide information in hopes of attracting your attention to their products as well.

• If your search leads you to a specific page or document, look at the top or bottom for a "home" link back to the main page of the site. Generally, this will be the preferred link to list so others can use this main page to find all of the information available within the site.

• Try different search engines.

• Some search engines use other (more than one) search engines to do their searches.


Web Search Engines - Examples:


Ask Jeeves









Search Engine Colossus - International Directory of Search Engines

Search Engine Guide (additional information on search engines)

Search Engine's List of Biology-related Search Engines

MSN Search

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