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To Use or Not to Use

So, if your professor says you can't use Web sources for your paper, ask her to clarify this because there are basically 'two Webs.' There is the public Web that search engines find, and there's the "invisible Web," Web sources the library buys that only the Liberty University community can use.

An article you find using an online article database such as Academic Search Complete also exists in a journal in print. It's just delivered via the Web by the library to facilitate research.

Go with the strengths of the public Web

  • to obtain information on colleges, museums, non-profit organizations, or companies
  • for very current information such as news, sports scores, weather, stock quotes
  • to research a well-known event or individual
  • to use online job postings, shopping, auctions, or travel service
  • for opinions on a topic

Stop and think! There are better places to look than the public Web

  • to find articles in scholarly journals
  • to find articles published in popular magazines
  • to search databases that index articles in many academic disciplines
  • to find books on your topic
  • to locate the full text of articles or books that are copyrighted
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Original InfoRM material © 2011 by the Liberty University Jerry Falwell Library. This tutorial incorporates material from SBU Library Research Guide, a tutorial developed by the Stony Brook University Libraries, © 2004, from Inflite, a tutorial developed by IUPUI, © 2003, from Searchpath, a tutorial developed by the Western Michigan University Library, © 2001-2002, and from TILT, a tutorial developed by the Digital Information Literacy Office for the University of Texas System Digital Library, © 1998-2002. This material may be reproduced, distributed, or incorporated, provided that appropriate credit is given.