Conducting Electronic Research

Deep Web Search

A search of the Deep Web is often necessary when looking for highly specialized directories or database-driven Web sites. The contents of the Deep Web-also known as the Invisible Web-is not easily accessible through conventional search techniques because they are not indexed by popular search engines like Google, Yahoo!, MSN Search and Ask.com.

Once entered, the Deep Web is searched in the same way as a simple or an advanced search. In other words it is keyword driven. Here is a short list of Deep Web search sites:

In the following demonstration the researcher uses Infomine to search the Deep Web for electronic journals related to the field of mechanical engineering. Feel free to click on Infomine and become the researcher yourself.

Steps of a Deep Web Search Using Infomine

Step One

The screen-shot below illustrates the Infomine home page. As you can see, it resembles other Web site search engines. It has a primary search field and a Go button. It identifies itself, however, as a database of scholarly Internet resources. The distinguishing feature is the nine subcategories in which a search can be instantly narrowed.

Screen shot of Infomine Website

Step Two

The screen-shot below illustrates the advanced search capabilities revealed to the researcher when bypassing the primary search field and selecting the PhysSci, Engr, CS & Math subcategory. Notice that the researcher has left the checkmarks in all the default search fields but has limited the parameters, or criteria, by selecting Electronic Journals from the Resource Types drop-down menu.

Screen shot of Infomine Website

Step Three

The screen-shot below illustrates the results delivered after the mechanical engineering was entered and the Go button clicked.

As you can see, twenty results were returned. Notice that the top two are marked with a green dollar sign. If the researcher would have selected the free option instead of accepting the default all in the Resource Access category, only eight results would have been returned. The other twelve turn out to be fee-based access only.

You will find that access to the journals and database resources of highly specialized fields are often fee-based. Because of this, and for the benefit of their faculty and students, many university libraries subscribe to them. If you experience any difficulty or have questions regarding the resources your library subscribes to, ask your librarian for help.

Go ahead on your own and explore the drop-down menus in the different option categories to get a feel for how a Deep Search works.

Screen shot of Infomine Website

 

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Introduction