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Tutorial: Doing Research on the Internet Pt. 1

Introduction

"The Internet , or simply the Net , is the publicly accessible worldwide system of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using a standardized Internet Protocol (IP) and many other protocols. It is made up of thousands of smaller commercial, academic, domestic and government networks. It carries various information and services, such as electronic mail , online chat, and the interlinked web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web."

From: Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet [Oct 26, 2005]

 

The Internet is not a single unified information source. It is both dynamic and distributed:

Dynamic means that it is constantly changing -- in fact, every second finds some new factoid, updated page or stock quote finding its way into cyberspace.

Distributed means that no one person is responsible for its content or even its delivery - a fact that makes it completely democratic in who can publish and what is published on it. These two factors make the Net both a chaotic and an enormously rich resource.

 

This presents some unique challenges for anyone using it to find information; it is wise to know a few things about it and some tools that allow systematic research.

 

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