Bristol Community College

Bristol Community College

4. Which Web to Use?

Think of it this way, access to the public Web is like free broadcast T.V. Anyone can get to those channels. But the Library Web space is like premium cable. The Library buys premium Web databases for our students to use, like one pays for premium channels on cable TV.

GO with the strengths of the public Web

  • to obtain information on colleges, museums, non-profit organizations, or companies
  • for very current information such as news, sports scores, weather, stock quotes
  • to research a well-known event or individual
  • to use online job postings, shopping, auctions, or travel services
  • for opinions on a topic

STOP and think! There are better places to look than the public Web

  • to find articles in scholarly journals
  • to find articles published in popular magazines
  • to search databases that index articles in many academic disciplines
  • to find books on your topic
  • to locate the full text of articles or books that are copyrighted

"But my professor said we can't use the Internet!"

If your professor has said that you can't use Web resources for your paper, you may wish to ask for clarification. Very possibly your professor will accept information on the "Library Web," much of which consists of online versions of materials the library once collected (or even continues to collect) in print form such as journals and reference works.

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