Module Three: Locating, Evaluating, and Synthesizing Information

Performing Internet searches

Search Engines:

There are MANY web search engines available, as well as meta-search engines. See a list of search engines at Wikipedia The InfoPeople website has a helpful chart comparing various search engines.

Meta-search Engines

Metasearch engines search across several search engines, eliminate duplicate results, and return a list of results organized by search engine or relevance. Not all meta-search engines are the same; results will differ because not all meta-search engines search across the same web search engines.
  • InfoSpace also owns Dogpile, WebCrawler, and MetaCrawler.
  • Dogpile: "Dogpile aggregates the most relevant searches from Google, Yahoo! and Bing and delivers them to you in a convenient search package. With Dogpile, you get the best from the big dogs without all the mess."
  • WebCrawler: "WebCrawler® brings users the top search results from Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other popular search engines. WebCrawler also provides multimedia results, including images, video, news, and local information. WebCrawler is a registered trademark of InfoSpace, Inc."
  • MetaCrawler: "MetaCrawler’s metasearch technology combines the top ranking search results from each of the separate search engines based on your specific query. The blend of sponsored and non-sponsored results for a given search term depends on the nature of the term, but sponsored results are always clearly identified with a "Sponsored" or similar designation."
  • Mama, Mother of all Search Engines
  • Yippy: "Yippy is a meta-search engine: it queries multiple search engines and combines the results to be displayed as a group, or cloud, on one screen. Yippy retrieves results from Ask, Open Directory, Gigablast and others. To see which search engines returned results for your query, click on the “Details” link at the top of the search results list."

Evaluating Websites for Accuracy, Authority, Currency, Objectivity, & Coverage

Is Wikipedia a bad word?

  • Some instructors are finding interesting ways to use Wikipedia in the classroom. Read the Inside Higher Ed article "When Wikipedia is the Assignment."
  • Read the 7 Things About Wikipedia document from Educause for an analysis of Wikipedia from an educational perspective.
  • Watch Jimmy Wale's talk on He is the founder, board member and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit corporation that operates the Wikipedia project, and several other wiki projects, including Wiktionary and Wikinews. He speaks about the vision of a social community coming together to collaboratively build a free encyclopedia of knowledge. He emphasizes that Wikipedia is a social phenomenon and explains how the community works together not only to write but to monitor and edit information to insure accuracy. The presentation is about 30 minutes, but it well worth your time!

Using Library Databases
EBSCO Host Databases
  • EBSCO redesigned their Host portal several years ago and added MANY great features that make searching easier and more effective.
  • Students create a personal folder within EBSCO that allows them to save articles and images indefinitely. Personal folders are accessible regardless of the institution's login they use (public library, school library, university, etc.) Download the following EBSCO help document on personal folders:

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  • Sharing EBSCO Articles
    • Connie invites you to share my Wikipedia folder.
    • To view this folder, login to EBSCO//host and then your Personal Folder; click Add button next to your Shared by folder.
    • Enter or copy & paste passcode: 45198e81-9fde-459d-8c14-d65e3b074e2e
    • Hit Submit button to accept the invitation.
    • The folder will be filed under my MyEBSCOhost's username, schoolmarm, under your Shared by folder section.
  • EBSCO Host Web Pages are another way to share articles with others.

Practicing Scholarly Integrity

  • Summarizing, paraphrasing, using direct quotes
    I read The Berenstain Bears and the Truth to my students each year as we began our research study. It seemed like an appropriate way to get the idea across to them that researchers are valued only as much as they can be trusted to use only the most relevant and trustworthy information in ways that show respect to the authors of those ideas.
  • Citing Sources: Teach the process the "low tech" way with resources, handouts, etc. and then teach them to use the technology.
    • EBSCO Host cite feature opens window with the citation for the selected article in ALL the citation formats. Students simply highlight, copy, and paste the citation into their working bibliography.
    • KnightCite citation machine makes it easy for students to understand the difference between online sources and print sources.
    • Citation Machine (now Son of Citation Machine) was the first online citation creator, designed by David Warlick, author of Redefining Literacy in the 21st Century.
    • BibMe and Noodle tools allow students to create online citations and save them on the web.

One Search in Follett's Destiny

When students perform a search in their school's Destiny program, the first results are for print materials in their school library. Selecting the One Search Tab displays search results for websites and databases (both free and subscription) that the librarian has selected. Find more information on setting up One Search on the ESC 15 Library Wiki