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Use Directories to Search the Invisible Web

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The Invisible Web is easily accessible..that is, if you know where to look. Many individuals and institutions have put together invisible Web directories, which you can use as a jumping off point to surf the Invisible Web. Here are just a few:

  • The University of Michigan has put together OAIster, (pronounced "oyster") and encourages you to "find the pearls" on the Invisible Web. They have millions of records from more than 405 institutions as diverse as African Journals Online and the Library Network of Western Switzerland.
  • LookSmart's Find Articles.com lets you search print publications for articles; anything from popular magazines to scholarly journals. Be sure to check out their Furl tool to organize your Invisible Web search snippets.
  • The Library Spot is a collection of databases, online libraries, references, and other good info from the Invisible Web. Be sure to check out their "You Asked For It" section, where popular readers' questions are featured.
  • The US Government's official web portal is FirstGov.gov, an extremely deep (as in lots of content) site. You could spend hours here. It's interesting to note how much stuff you can get done online here as well, such as renew your driver's license, shop government auctions, and contact elected officials.
  • Search the vast holding of the UCLA Library online, including their special collections only found on the Invisible Web.
  • Check out Infoplease.com and its searchable Invisible Web databases. Results come from encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, and other online resources only found on the Invisible Web.
  • The Central Intelligence Agency has the World Factbook, a searchable directory of flags of the world, reference maps, country profiles, and much, much more. Great for geography buffs or anyone who wants to learn more about their world.
  • University of Idaho has created this Repository of Primary Sources, which contains links to manuscripts, archives, rare books, and much more. Covers not only the United States, but countries all over the world.
  • Lund University Libraries maintains the Directory of Open Access Journals, a collection of searchable scientific and scholarly journals on the Invisible Web.
  • Looking for scientific information on the Invisible Web? Go to Scirus.com first. You can search either scholarly sources or Web sources or both.
  • Canada, ay? Then check out the Archival Records of Alberta. This is a web gateway to photographs, census records, and other archival records.
  • Want to find a plant that will survive overwatering, lack of sunlight, and general forgetfulness? You can probably find something in the USDA's Plants Database on the Invisible Web.
  • The Human Genome Database contains anything you would ever want to know..well, about the human genome on the Invisible Web, at least.
  • If you've got a medical question, check out The Combined Health Information Database, or CHID online. Its searchable subject directory is very user-friendly, and you can find information on pretty much anything to do with human health here.
  • Nonprofit organizations need searching tools too. The National Database of Nonprofit Organizations is an extensive site on the Invisible Web that not only provides locations and contact information for nonprofits, but also gives detailed fiscal reports.
  • EEVL Xtra, a service put together by Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. This excellent service has the ability to cross-search 20 engineering, mathematics and computing databases, including content from 50 publishers. Find articles, websites, and more on the Invisible Web.

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