Searching and Researching 5th Edition
Searching and Researching
on the Internet and the
World Wide Web
For Students, Teachers, Librarians, and Folks
Who Want to Stay in the Know

Introduction to the Internet and the World Wide Web

Every day, millions of people around the world use the Internet to search for and retrieve information on all sorts of topics in a wide variety of areas. The information can appear in several types of digital formats, such as text, images, audio, or video. Individuals, companies, research labs, libraries, news organizations, television networks, governments, and other organizations all make resources available. People communicate with each other, sharing information and making commercial and business transactions, using electronic mail. All this activity is possible because tens of thousands of networks are connected to the Internet and exchange information in the same basic ways. Never before has so much information from such a wide variety of sources and in so many formats been available to the public.

The World Wide Web is not the same as the Internet, but the two terms are popularly used as synonyms. The Web is the information connected or linked in a way that is like a spider’s web. Using a Web browser—the computer program or software that lets you access the World Wide Web—you can find information on almost any topic with just a few clicks of your mouse button. Several search tools (programs that search the Web for resources) are readily available. When you type a keyword or phrase into a form and click on a button or icon on the screen, a list of items appears. You simply click on the ones you want to retrieve. The amount and variety of information available are astounding, but sometimes it’s difficult to find appropriate material.

Selected Terms

bookmark hypertext Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
client/server Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) Web 2.0
favorite Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) Web browser
home page Internet Web page
hyperlink link World Wide Web
hypermedia search engine



Millions of people around the world use the Internet for communication, research, business, information, and recreation. One of the most popular and effective ways to tap into its resources is through the World Wide Web, a vast collection of information connected like a web.

There is no beginning or end; the information is accessible in a nonlinear fashion through connections called hyperlinks. You view the resources on the Web by using a program called a Web browser. You navigate through the Web by pointing to hyperlinks (underlined or boldfaced words or phrases, icons, or images) and clicking. To use the Web and the Internet effectively, you need to know how to find and use the services, tools, and programs that give you access to their resources.
It’s possible to link information in almost any digital form on the World Wide Web. Text files, programs, charts, images, graphics files, digitized video, and sound files are all available. Not only can you find things from a variety of media, but you also get a great deal of information in many categories or topics.

When using the Web, you work in a hypertext or hypermedia environment. A Uniform Resource Locator, or URL, specifies items, services, and resources. Web browsers use these URLs to specify the type of Internet service or protocol needed and the location of the item. For example, the URL for the Web page General Collections Library of Congress is The protocol or service in this case is HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and a Web browser using that URL would contact the Internet site and access the file coll-general.html in the directory or folder named rr. The documents on the Web are called Web pages.

A number of different types of information sources are available on the World Wide Web. They include:

This site accompanies the book

Searching and Researching on the Internet and the World Wide Web 5th Edition.
Published by Franklin, Beedle & Associates Inc.
ISBN-10: 1590282426    ISBN-13: 978-1590282427

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