Search the Web

ARE YOU A Gadamer groupie? Do you dote on Derrida? You can find Internet-based information on topics ranging from Aristotle to Whorf. Each search engine has its own cataloging system and search strategies, so it's probably best to use a combination of several, or to use a meta-search engine that simultaneously searches multiple databases like or Metacrawler. Don't forget, too, that thorough research includes "low tech" methods like honest-to-goodness libraries.

For a comprehensive listing of Web-based search engines that includes descriptions, explanations, and pointers to searchable databases and cataloging systems, go to the Internet Scout Project Toolkit at the University of Wisconsin. In the meantime, here's a starter list of popular search tools.

Apple Bullet is a meta search engine that accesses 37 indexes and databases.
Apple Bullet ImageAlta Vista is a "spider" that conducts automatic searches, in order to (ultimately) index all of the pages on the World Wide Web.
Apple Bullet ImageAsk Jeeves is a question-answering system that allows users to ask questions in plain English, then delivers the answer by combining a natural language engine with a proprietary knowledgebase that is expanded through the question-and-answer process.
Apple Bullet ImageCIOS Communication Institute for Online Scholarship supports the hotlines to which many communication scholars subscribe. It is a not-for-profit organization that is supported primarily through individual & institutional memberships, publication of The Electronic Journal of Communication, and sales of software products (e.g., ComIndex). CIOS offers extensive searches of communication journals for institutional affiliates and associated individuals, and limited searches for others.
Apple Bullet ImageDeja News is an engine that searches the archived texts of USENET newsgroups.
Apple Bullet ImageGoogle automatically retrieves and indexes the text of Web sites.
Apple Bullet ImageLycos means spider, and this one was originally housed at Carnegie Mellon. The database is maintained through periodically visits to the listed Web sites.
Apple Bullet ImageMetacrawler is a meta search engine that accesses multiple indexes and databases.
Apple Bullet ImageWebCrawler is a "spider" that automatically retrieves and indexes the text of submitted Web pages.
Apple Bullet ImageYahoo was originally developed at Stanford, and is one of the oldest and most popular search engines on the Web. It displays a hierarchical listing of links to Web pages by title and description. Unlike many other engines, each listing is approved by a real live person.

Online Libraries

Web-based libraries are proliferating on the 'Net. The following sites have been around for a while and seem to bereasonably stable.


Apple Bullet Image AskERIC Virtual Library
Apple Bullet Image Cal State Fullerton On-Line Libraries
Apple Bullet Image Communication Institute for Online Scholarship (CIOS)
Apple Bullet Image CARL UnCover
Apple Bullet Image Library of Congress
Apple Bullet Image MELVYL, the On-Line Library Catalog for the University of California Libraries
Apple Bullet Image National Library Catalogs throughout the World, from the University of Queensland
Apple Bullet Image Publishers' Catalog Home Page by Peter Scott of Northern Lights Internet Solutions Ltd.
Apple Bullet Image Scholarly Journals Distributed via the Web, University of Houston
Apple Bullet Image WWW Virtual Library

© Diane F. Witmer, All Rights Reserved
Updated February 2003