Conducting Electronic Research

Web Directory Search

Web directories are highly specialized lists of electronic resources compiled by a group of professional editors. Before each link is included, the resource is reviewed and judged by an expert for its value and relevance to the topic or field to which it belongs.

The contents of a Web directory will include Web sites, software programs, email listservs, newsgroups and discussion forums as well as electronic audio and visual files. By selecting a general category from a list of topics and clicking on the available subcategories, a search can be narrowed to sources specifically relevant to your research project.

Web directories containing content that has been parsed, or analyzed, such as those in the list below, are great places to begin searching the Web. The browse and search methods for each will be similar.

The following demonstration illustrates a Web directory search. In this case, the researcher uses the Internet Public Library. As you follow this demonstration, feel free to click on Internet Public Library and become the researcher yourself.

Steps of a Web Directory Search Using Internet Public Library

Step One

The screen-shot below illustrates the home page. As you can see, the researcher has highlighted the main category Science and Tech from the side bar menu. Doing so activated a fly-out menu containing a concise list of subcategories.

Screen shot of Internet Public Library Webpage

Step Two

The researcher has selected Energy from the fly-out menu which contained a concise list of subcategories and followed it to the browser window shown in the screen-shot below. An alphabetically organized list of research leads entitled Resources in this Category returned a list of potential resources. As you can see, the researcher has scrolled down the page and selected the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy.

Screen shot of Internet Public Library Webpage

Step Three

The screen-shot below illustrates the homepage for the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy website. Notice that each state on the map is a new link.

Screen shot of Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy website

The final screen-shot illustrates the available resources after the researcher has narrowed the search down to the state of Colorado.

Screen shot of Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy website

« Previous
Continue »
Introduction