ASSOCIATES (vol. 4, no. 2, November 1997) -

Table of Contents

        _The Student's Guide to Doing Research on the Internet_
                        Dave and Mary Campbell
                   Addison-Wesley Publishing Company
                          ISBN: 0-201-48916-3
                               $14.95 US

                             Reviewed by 
                            Bob Farnsworth 
                  Senior Library technical Assistant 
                     University of North Florida 

      As more and more of us find ourselves using the Internet for
research and other work-related tasks, we see that there are more and
more books that give information about searches.  One problem that
develops sometimes, though, is that the author of such a book is so
immersed in the subject that he/she forgets what it was like to be a
"newbie" or beginner in dealing with searches.
      One book that is easy to read and follow is _The Student's
Guide to Doing Research on the Internet_.  The authors have used the
Internet for years--and are also authors of over 30 best-selling
computer books.
      This particular title is nicely divided into clear sections--and
has a minimum of "computerese" terms--which is great for those of us
who don't have the dexterity to hold a dictionary in one hand and type
with the other!
      The book is organized into two main parts.  The first part
discusses tools that you use to access various Internet resources.
This section will help you meet, then utilize the various types of
connections.  Examples and explanations are given of the elements of an
Internet connection, the different types of connections, commercial/free
connection contacts, etc.
      Next, electronic addresses are explained--a handy bit of trivia
for those who have no idea why the various parts of an address are there.
      Telnet sessions are next in the explanation--both what they are
and how to use them.  (A side bit of help...."If you are working late at
the library, you might miss your favorite sports games on TV.  If you
miss the late news, you can get the sports scores if you Telnet to
").  Of course, if that distracts you from your
work....don't do it!
      Next appear the various types of communication--ranging from e-mail
in its many forms to Internet Relay Chat (which you may remember has
provided live coverage of news events when nothing else was available
during wars and disasters).
      Another section deals with FTP information.  We are shown the value
of being able to do this type of file transfer--and simple explanations
are given of the systems and how to work them.
      Different types of search engines are investigated next.  Care is
taken to bring in vocabulary and diagrams in such a way that one doesn't
get confused trying to learn some rather involved research methods.
      The World Wide Web is certainly not neglected.  The authors have
provided page after page of very clear explanations and diagrams--and
have explained why searching and research can be both interesting and a
lot of fun on the Web.
      The second main part of the book is somewhat like a directory.  The
various chapters in this part are devoted to general research areas or
      Each chapter provides addresses for various sites that can enable
the casual or dedicated researcher to find information quickly and
easily.  There is little in the way of vocabulary that hasn't already
been explained in the first part of the volume.
      However, when there is a chance for confusion, either diagrams or
photos of a typical computer screen are used so that the reader can see
exactly what should be done to help find out information.
      The areas covered are quite all-encompassing.  There are sections
on everything from biology to virtual reality, from international
business to medical organizations.
      The beauty of this section is that such a volume could be kept near
the computer in either a public or technical services area--so that
necessary sites could be accessed even faster than having to depend on
search engines.
      All in all, this is a volume that has the important "c's" we depend
on in our library work--comprehensive information, clear writing, and
concise access to needed references.  This is one of those books that
will get "dog-eared" rather quickly since many people will want to use it
for both research--and entertainment.  Not a bad thing for any title!