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USD Information Literacy Lessons: Page 7

The broad focus of these lessons is understanding sources of information, including examples that can help you learn how to access information sources at USD. Each lesson is dedicated to a specific element of information competency.

Search Engines, Meta-Search Engines, and Subject-Based Search Engines

Resources are packaged in a variety of ways on the Web. Choosing the best resource is the first step in locating the most useful, reliable, and current information for your research needs. 

Search Engines are computer software programs designed to help users of the Internet locate information on the World Wide Web. They collect and index Internet resources (Web pages, Usenet Newsgroups, programs, images, etc.) and provide a keyword search system allowing the user to identify and retrieve resources. There are many search engines available, and each is different in its scope, search protocols, and appearance. Some common search engines are: Alta Vista, Google, Inktomi, HotBot, and Lycos.

Important:  No search engine accesses the entire web, and search engines don't all access the same web sites.  It's best to use more than one search engine when doing web research. 

Meta-Search Engines have many of the same characteristics as search engines, with the added value that they search multiple search engines at the same time. Some common meta-search engines are: Profusion, Dogpile, MetaCrawler, and Ixquick.

Subject-based Search Engines are similar to search engines except that they are subject-specific in their access. These search engines have already narrowed the search to the general topics they cover. Some common subject-based search engines are: MusicSearch, HealthWeb, FDIC Institution Directory, and FactFinder 


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