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Library - Information Literacy Module: Tutorial 10: Internet sources

Information literacy for UJ students. Start with "1 Why Information Literacy" and end with "9 Writing & Referencing"

STEP 1: Internet sources

Basic search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) are useful when Neo needs background information or a place to start, but Neo must be cautious as limitless information leads to confusion and one does not always know where the information comes from.

Please note: Google is a search engine and not a source of information


  • Google Scholar: Google Scholar is a specialised search engine that is limited to academic sources only, eliminating fan sites and commonly unreliable sources.
  • Google Books: Google Books is an index full of books. Neo can browse or read part of a book before checking it out or purchasing it. Many books can be read completely through Google Books.

Alternative to Google

The deep web is made up of content databases and content put onto the web by agencies that want you to search from their homepages, and not from search engines for various reasons. Remember that Google only searches 101 KB into a website. Many good websites require registration, free or fee-based, and these cannot be searched by search engines. Sites that define “ no index” in their protocol also prevent search engines from retrieving what could be quality information.

So just how is Neo supposed to search the deep web? He needs to know where to go. A good start would be getting to know the kinds of information he could find at the following sites. Remember that this list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a start.

News: International news and events: CNN, BBC World 

Online dictionaries:

Academic writing

The Writing Lab at Purdue [] houses 200 free writing resources and instructional materials for students, teachers, and trainers. Included are formatting and style guides, grammar and mechanics, internet literacy, ESL, job search and technical writing, and research. There are sections geared to writing for specific disciplines (e.g. experimental report writing in psychology) and forms (e.g. writing about poetry). This site provides the nuts and bolts needed to jump-start any writing project. 

The writing center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill []


Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) []. Launched in May 2003, Sweden's Lund University Libraries Head Office hosts this "one-stop shopping" open access directory, providing no-cost access to the full text of 2,200-plus journals. More than 630 journals are searchable on the article level (more than 98,000 articles available) in the sciences and humanities/social sciences, and its directory is continually growing in size.

Open Access Journals Search Engine (OAJSE) Open Access Journals in the World (excluding India) []. Here you can search for any open access journal publications. It is listed from A to Z and covers any subject discipline.