December 23, 2009 | News
Many students rely solely on Google to mine the Web during term-paper season, so the wealth of information that lies beyond the world’s most powerful search engine is apt to surprise them, and learning how to tap into it can improve the quality of research. Though it can point the way to more than a trillion Web pages, Google indexes only a fraction of the Internet. About 75 percent of the Web consists of hidden data—health sites, financial information, flight schedules, consumer catalogs and foreign language sites—all out of reach of even the most powerful search engines.
Understanding why that is so and learning to extract meaningful information from the deep Web is the subject of Going Beyond Google: the Invisible Web in Learning and Teaching (New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2009; London Facet, 2009). Its authors, Jane Devine and Francine Egger-Sider, librarians at LaGuardia Community College, claim that advanced research skills hold the key. The book, which is intended for information professionals, covers characteristics of the invisible Web and the variety of resources it contains. It offers strategies for tapping into its different databases and practical examples of how to do it, as well as a discussion of the shifting relationship between the visible and invisible Web. Peter Williams of Information World Review says, “The book is a useful source of information on how deep Web search tools are evolving and what that means for libraries’ electronic collection development plans.”(www.neal-schuman.com/bdetail.php?isbn=9781555706333)