Information seeking skills are needed whenever there is a search for new information. With the…

Information seeking skills are needed whenever there is a search for new information. With the advent of the internet there is suddenly a lot of information available at the click of a mouse and yet, one needs to have some knowledge and skills to obtain the relevant information from the vast ocean of information on the internet. When it comes to searching on the internet, there are many search tools available: search engines, subject directories / virtual libraries, invisible (deep) web databases, Meta search engines, etc (Barker, 2007).
Search engines such as Google™, AlltheWeb, MSN, Teoma, AltaVista and Wisent provide specific information (Bazac, 2006). Metasearch engines such as ez2Find, Division, Info Grid, Info NetWare, boogie, etc can be used when searching for a unique search term, or in-depth information on a particular subject (Bazac, 2006). Web directories such as Google™ Directory, Open Directory Project (ODP), Yahoo! Zeal, JoeAnt and Gimpsy provide general information on popular topics, and scholarly information is best got from virtual libraries such as Librarians’ Index to the Internet, INFOMINE, and Internet Public Library (Bazac, 2006).
Real time information is best obtained through deep web which are specialized databases (MU, 2007). Examples of excellent invisible web databases are Profusion, Invisible-web. net, Complete Planet, Resource Discovery Network and direct search (Moore, 2007). Robert Muldrow Cooper Library, attached to the Clemson University, is known for its automated information retrieval system, the Clemson facilities (CU, 2007). Numerous periodical indexes are housed on-line and available for automated searching. The collections deal mainly with agriculture, natural and physical sciences, economics and technology.
Many of the databases that include full text of many articles are available for access through the internet. There are many links to web indexes, search engines, and tips on searching and evaluating sources (CU, 2007). The essential steps in an internet-based search strategy are having a focus, identifying and understanding the key concepts of the topic, finding alternative terms for these concepts and identifying the place for searching and this includes synonyms, plural/singular forms, spelling variations, variations of root words and acronyms (MU, 2007).
If the initial information is too little or too much, the search terms should be modified. A search may be broadened by any of the following steps: reducing the number of concepts, using an OR search, looking for alternative terms, using more general search terms, using subject headings as search terms or using alternate spellings. On the other hand, a search may be narrowed by using an AND or NOT search, looking for more specific alternative terms, using subject headings as search terms, or using more precise terms (MU, 2007).
Journal websites that can provide full text articles for nursing students and professionals include NursingCenter, Medscape, Hardin MD and Online Journals (Research Medical Library). CINAHL sources provide links to websites of interest to various journals of interest to nursing and allied professions (CINAHL, 2007). CINAHL stands for Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. Other important websites for nursing information include Medscape, Toxline and AIDSLINE, Journal of Nursing Management, NursingCenter, and The American Journal of Nursing (AJN).
The AJN site allows one to find articles from more than 50 trusted nursing journals, including AJN and Nursing2007. Registration is free (AJN, 2007). Thus, the internet is a treasure trove of information for the searcher with the right set of searching skills.
Bibliography:
CINAHL (2007). http://www. cinahl. com/csources/csources. htm Barker, Joe (2007). Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial. http://www. lib. berkeley. edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/FindInfo. html MU (Monash University) (2007). Library Online Tutorials. http://www.monash.edu/library

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