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Beginning Research: Locate internet resources

Help for beginning research on your essay, paper or thesis.

Using Google vs. the Library

The Visible and Invisible Web

Content on the visible or open web can easily be browsed or retrieved using a search engine such as Google. As anyone can add content to the open web, it is important to evaluate the quality of the resources you retrieve. See our tips for evaluating webpages

The invisible or hidden web includes resources that are hidden behind firewalls and in databases that require you to login. The scholarly resources in some of the library databases fit within this category.

Subject gateways list and organise resources into directories and the content is selected and recommended for inclusion. Consult the websites section of the the library guides created for your subject area to view useful subject gateways and websites, that have been selected by your Subject Liaison Librarian.

The Charles Darwin University Searching the Internet Workshop offers more in-depth explanations about search engines, subject directories and the invisible web.

Google Search

Use the Advanced Search options in Google to:

  • Search by file type - e.g. .pdf or .ppt or .xls
  • Search by domain - e.g. .gov or .edu or .org 
  • Search by date

Google is useful for locating government reports and statistical data.

Google Scholar

 Access:  Advanced Scholar Search


How to access articles for free from the Library when you are searching Google Scholar 

If you are searching from home or somewhere other than a computer at the campus, you need to set preferences in Google Scholar to activate access to full text for free via the Library.

Follow these steps to make the Source it @ Melbourne links visible in Google Scholar.

  1.     Go to Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com

  2.     Select the Settings link at the top-right of the page.

  3.     On the next screen, select the Library links option to the left.

  4.     Type, University of Melbourne Library in the search box > then select the search button.

  5.    Tick the checkbox next to the option: University of Melbourne Library - SourceIt@Melbourne.

  6.     Select the Save button (Cookies must be enabled for your browser to remember your settings for future use)

The Source It @ Melbourne links will now appear in Google Scholar search results - use these to connect to the full-text