Internet Searching Tools and Finding Aids

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Popular today are and Google, where everyday searches begin and end, but much information can be located more effectively with other tools.

Below are tools for reliable information. Please contact our reference librarians for more help.

Noodle Tools Look at types of search tools and some options available , how to choose the right search tool for your purpose. The search page at Internet Public Library presents a wide choice of information about websearching.




Websites are arranged as treelike hierarchical listings by subject headings in directories. These are valuable especially in capturing broad topic areas.

Features access to targeted university research and educational tools.
Internet Public Library
In its own words, The IPL provides to Internet users. Activities include: finding, evaluating, selecting, organizing, describing, and creating information resources; and direct assistance to individuals. This is a large set of publically-available authoritative information resources aimed at learning and teaching environments.
Users recommend and staff add unevaluated sites to this amazingly popular resource. Yahoo’s popular guide for kids is Yahooligans!
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Search Engines

Search engines, sometimes referred to as keyword indexes, put the query control in one’s own hands. The choice of words, called keywords, which guide the search are the user's own. Relevance and thoroughness vary with queries and tools.
This is a valuable resource for content that helps people to solve the large and small needs of everyday life.
A fast engine using one of the largest databases on the Web. Offers various advanced search interfaces as well as a filtering option.
Their ExpertRank algorithm claims to give relevant search results by identifying the most authoritative sites on the Web.
Bing is currently a popular search engine. It has features like easy accessing and fast searching capabilities.
A powerful, informative, and popular engine based upon a vast database. Excite claims concept searching.
A clean interface distinguishes this search engine from others. Gives results based on popularity of links returned. Offers a Safe Search Filtering option

Meta-search and Consolidating Engines

These engines use other tools, often several, and consolidate or cluster the results. Each tool here has its peculiarities with regard to operation and presentation of data.

Straightforward search engine that returns results from several other search engines simultaneously. It organizes results by search tool source and lets you to customize how items are returned.
Finds sites rated best by multiple engines for your search. Regular, Boolean and natural language searching are supported.
Allows you to search once through multiple WWW crawlers.
Uses the metasearch technology of SavvySearch to search 700 search engines, Web directories, auctions, storefronts, news sources, discussion groups, reference sites, and more.
An advanced meta-search and clustering tool for toxicology and environmental health issues. This was recently released after development at the National Libraries of Medicine. Users control the data sources very easily.
Enter a search term, and Vivismo will not only pull-back matching responses from major search engines, but will also automatically organize the pages into categories. Slick and easy to use.
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Specialized Tools

Subject areas have their own, often new, tools for finding information. We list here some tools of wide utility.

Google Maps
Locate geographical information visually with a robust mapping search tool
Universities Search
Especially useful for locating information about educational institutions of higher learning.
An early Internet “people-finder,” now part of Lycos.
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Experimental Tools and Visual Presentations

These tools are popular among users looking for a kickstart for searching. Almost as suggestions, the concept linkages help begin a search and suggest avenues for narrowing and focusing efforts.

This attractive tool provides a visual representation of the information requested. The characteristics are indicated graphically. A fascinating tool, especially for consolidating information and demonstrating linkages and sources.
An advanced clustering tool with the ability to learn a user’s interests. The graphical interface suggests linkages among concepts. Searches multiple types of data.
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