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Whether you're beginning a college thesis or searching for a new toaster, Researching Online For Dummies, 2nd Edition, is your key to finding the information you need -- online and anytime. This book helps you develop a multitiered research strategy using keywords and index terms to dive deep into the sources found on the Web...
Although this Dummies book is in the typical informal and irreverent beginner's style, even the most competent searcher will find it invaluable. Author Reva Basch has written the gold standard for books about online research. Wired magazine calls her "the ultimate intelligent agent" for a very good reason. Basch doesn't just give you information on search engines and how to use them. She takes you into the mindset of a professional Net cybrarian, sharing the essential truth about online research. (There is a huge difference between surfing and searching.) In chapters such as "Thinking and Working Like a Researcher," you learn what to do when presented with 42,178 hits--or worse, no hits at all--when using a search engine. Even when you hit pay dirt, Basch explains the importance of evaluating the information you find to make sure it's relevant and accurate.
Basch covers specialty search engines, subject-based catalogs, reference sites, online libraries, and for-pay information services. She takes you to the places where the experts hang out in newsgroups, mailing lists, and online conferencing systems. One especially helpful chapter deals with the mysteries of researching government, medical, and sci-tech information online. The discussion then moves to business-related research, online publications, and many other resources. Then she reveals that sometimes you have to go offline to get what you need and includes helpful print sources.
This terrific volume concludes with the famous Dummies "Part of Tens," including Ten Timeless Truths about Search Engines and Ten Clarifying Questions for Better Research Results. The accompanying CD-ROM has three bonus chapters: "Life Choices," about using the Net to find information on finding a college, a car, a job, and other necessities; "Recreational Interests: Hobbies, Interests, and Leisure-Time Pursuits"; and "Ten Simple Tune-ups for Streamlined Searching." A bonus section on Boolean searches contains one of the better discussions of that misunderstood subject. --Elizabeth Lewis
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