Getting started with Web searching
On this page you can use the tabs above to find resources for searching different kinds of information on the Web, as well as notes about how these resources work. Many but not all of these tools are developed by Google -- while Google is a useful search tool, it does not cover the entire Web, and is better suited to some types of searches than others.
Is there accurate, scholarly information on the Internet? Absolutely. Is everything on the Internet factual or accurate? Not at all -- especially given that anyone can put a website up which says whatever s/he wants it to. When you find a piece of information online, you should always evaluate it the way you would any other piece of information you encounter -- with a critical eye. To that end, the librarians in the Meriam Library have put together the following guide for evaluating information. It is particularly relevant to Internet-based information.
There is a distinction between the free Internet and the article databases we offer through the library. Both are online, but the databases are not part of the free Internet, and are not available through Google or any other search engine that confines itself to the Web. (Essentially, the databases cost money. Cal State pays for them and then opens access up to all affiliated faculty, staff, and students. Because it costs money, the information indexed in these databases is not directly accessible through the free Internet). Consequently, article databases and pages on the World Wide Web are in a separate category from each other.