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Search Strategies on the Internet: General and Specific

Krys Bottrill

Some of the most up-to-date information on scientific activity is to be found on the Internet; for example, on the websites of academic and other research institutions and in databases of currently funded research studies provided on the websites of funding bodies. Such information can be valuable in suggesting new approaches and techniques that could be applicable in a Three Rs context. However, the Internet is a chaotic medium, not subject to the meticulous classification and organisation of classical information resources. At the same time, Internet search engines do not match the sophistication of search systems used by database hosts. Also, although some offer relatively advanced features, user awareness of these tends to be low. Furthermore, much of the information on the Internet is not accessible to conventional search engines, giving rise to the concept of the “Invisible Web”. General strategies and techniques for Internet searching are presented, together with a comparative survey of selected search engines. The question of how the Invisible Web can be accessed is discussed, as well as how to keep up-to-date with Internet content and improve searching skills.