Web search skills
Finding research information on the web or 'on-line' is about having
- the skills to undertake searches in the areas that are relevant
for you and
- the knowledge about what is out there in the form of:
- Research organisations
- Electronic libraries
- On-line courses
The next four sections cover these topics from a research mindedness
An important point to note when you are accessing research documents
on line is that they may be:
- very big and take a long time to download, so try the summary documents
first. Your computer may not ‘like’ some documents, especially
if they have lots of images and graphs.
- in ‘pdf’ format, which means you need to download an
additional programme ‘Adobe Acrobat Reader’ onto your
computer to be able to read them. This is safe, although some organisations
place restrictions on downloading software, so you may need to check
with your system administrator if it doesn’t work. You can print
pdf files and read them on screen but you cannot cut and paste extracts
from them. This protects authors from misuse of their work and their
- in formats such as Excel if they are tables of numerical data,
and again you will need to have the relevant software on your machine
to read them.
of course, always make sure your computer is protected in case any documents
contain viruses, or have them attached to files! Anti-virus software
needs updating regularly as new viruses are being created and distributed
all the time.
Internet social worker
If you are new to using the web then it is recommended that you try
an on-line course called Internet
social worker as a helpful introduction to getting to grips with
the subject. This covers basic tools of :
- using search engines
- web directories
- hints and tips.
It takes about an hour to use and also includes quizzes, useful links,
and a glossary. Even if you have some experience of using the web it
may help to improve your internet skills.