I had the great pleasure yesterday to attend a training course at CILIP HQ on Navigating the Deep Web: Advanced Search Strategies for Researchers, run by search guru, Karen Blakeman.
I always come away from Karen’s courses feeling invigorated and with a head stuffed full of useful sites and new search techniques. Definitions vary as to what defines the deep web, but in short, we’re talking about the vast array of information that doesn’t get picked up by the search engines. Deep web information includes data that is password-protected, subscription databases, information that requires a form to be filled in before it can be downloaded, discontinued sites, geographically specific information and yes, the “dark web” (not that we delved into that murky world).
Search engines such as Google may sometimes get you to the doorway of this data, but you need to understand how to recognize these sites if they appear in search results. More often you need to search in specific ways to find them in the first place, so you need to know how to use the advanced search techniques for not only Google, but also when it can be worth looking beyond Google and using Bing, DuckDuckGo as well as other search engines to enrich your search. As I’ve said before, there is more to searching life than Google! In many cases, it’s also useful if you simply know a bunch of deep web searching sites off by heart.
I’ve highlighted Karen’s website, RBA Information Services before, and it’s worth doing so again as it contains a wealth of useful information. If internet searching is a significant part of your daily activities (or a bit of a passion – thus spake the anorak!), I’d certainly recommend her training courses.
Many thanks once again, Karen!