Jeffery

Devine, Jane and Francine Egger-Sider. Going Beyond Google: The Invisible Web in Learning and Teaching. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2009. 156 pp. 65.00 USD. ISBN-13: 978-1-55570-633-3.

Everything is on the Web, right? And Google can find it all, right? The authors of this book quickly debunk both of these assumptions. We don't need to read beyond the Preface to be informed that "... researchers who use only one general-purpose search engine ... to find information on the Web are like investors who accept a return of $25.00 as full payment on a loan of $100.00. Even the best search engine offers at most only 25 percent of the information available on the Web" (p. ix). The information which cannot be found using general-purpose search engines is referred to as the "invisible", "deep", or "hidden" Web.

Going Beyond Google is organized into three Parts (and seven Chapters): Understanding the Division Between the Visible and Invisible Web, Finding and Utilizing the Contents of the Invisible Web, and Narrowing the Gap Between the Visible and Invisible Web.

There are many reasons why general-purpose search engines do not index all the content of the Web, and in Part I the authors do a good job of explaining this in readily-understood language. They go on to review the various studies which report on how today's user is approaching research, which tools are being used, and for what purposes. Many of the summarized conclusions will not be surprising to those involved in education -- e.g., students use the Internet more than the library for research, they usually select the first item on a results list (and rarely go beyond the first screen of results), and they enter only one search term in a search box. The authors outline the problems with using general-purpose search engines exclusively.

Unfortunately, there is no all-purpose search tool for the Invisible Web. The researcher needs to know the various search tools available, and the necessary navigation skills. This is the focus of Part II. Chapter 3 outlines ways to introduce aspects of the Invisible Web into teaching and student experiences -- whether that is through classroom instruction (either 'one-shots', or as a credit Information Literacy course, or as part of another credit course), interactions at the Reference desk, or through course management systems (such as Blackboard or Moodle). The authors recognize that the object of our teaching is "not to replace general-purpose search engines but to show how Invisible Web resources complement search engine results" (p. 39). Suggestions for teaching the Invisible Web are mapped to ACRL's Information Literacy Standards and the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Chapter 4 provides suggested activities that can help anyone learn more about the Invisible Web, while Chapter 5 presents a case study of a student's research strategies using Google, a subject directory, and a licensed database. Chapter 6 outlines sample tools for mining the Invisible Web -- directories, databases, and specialized search engines.

The final section mentions initiatives such as Google Scholar, Google Book Search, federated searching, and next-generation library catalogues -- all of which tap into Invisible Web content. Although general-purpose search engines are expanding their coverage of the invisible Web and the boundaries are shifting between the visible and invisible Webs, " ... both parts of the Web ... are far from being readily accessible to users, especially to students doing research. Intermediaries, whether faculty or librarians, must play a role in presenting students with a full portrait of the information world as it is today" (p. 124).

Appendices provide a bibliography (supplementing the references located at the end of each of the three Parts), a collection of graphics illustrating the visible and invisible Web, and the ACRL Information Literacy Standards. The authors are both academic librarians, whose collaboration on the Invisible Web has resulted in two articles and this book. Check out their Website (Beyond Google: The Invisible Web) http://library.laguardia.edu/invisibleweb for clickable (and updated) links to the graphics and teaching tools mentioned in this book.

Another book which serves as an excellent introduction to the Invisible Web is: The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Search Engines Can't See by Chris Sherman and Gary Price (Medford, NJ: CyberAge Books, 2001). Devine and Egger-Sider's book goes beyond this work by offering practical suggestions for incorporating the Invisible Web into teaching opportunities, wherever those opportunities occur. As a result, this book will be particularly useful for teachers (including librarians) who need to make students aware of the difference between the "invisible" Web and the "visible" or "surface" Web, and who need to help students find and use the contents of this invisible Web.

Betty M. Jeffery, Instruction & Education Services Librarian, bjeffery@upei.ca, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

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