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Teacher Guide Internet Terms to Know

The terms below are used throughout Web Research Guide. When appropriate, each term is hyperlinked to its glossary definition. However, you may also wish to print the list in its entirety and share it with your students.

Boolean
a system of logical thought developed by the 19th-century mathematician George Boole. On the Web, Boolean searches can be used to develop search engine queries. Boolean searches can increase the accuracy of your results because they specify relationships between keywords or phrases. The most commonly used Boolean operators are: AND, OR, and NOT.

Boolean operators
The three most commonly used Boolean operators are: AND, OR, and NOT. In Boolean searching, an "AND" operator between two words (for example, "apples AND oranges") tells the search engine to find documents that contain both of these words. An "OR" operator (for example, "pear OR apple") tells the search engine to find documents that contain either of the words. A "NOT" operator (for example, "berries" NOT raspberries") tells the search engine to find documents containing only one of the words.

bookmark
(v.) the act of saving a Web document for future access; typically, this is a function of your Web browser. (n.) a Web document that you save using your Web browser

database
A collection of information organized in such a way that a computer program can quickly retrieve specific pieces of data.

directory
A directory, also known as a subject directory, refers to any collection of Web sites organized into such categories as health, history, sports, arts and entertainment, and travel. (Each directory has its own unique categories and links.)

domain name
the part of the URL that identifies and calls up the specific computer on the Web that stores the information you requested

e-mail
short for electronic mail; mail that is instantaneously sent by your computer to anyone in the world with an e-mail account

extensions
the three-letter suffix that is part of a URL. For example, in the URL www.archives.gov, the extension is .gov. Other commonly used extensions include .com, .edu, and .org.

home page
the main page of a Web site. The home page typically provides a table of contents or a site map for the rest of the site.

hypertext
a nonlinear system of writing that allows users to access text and multimedia features through multiple pathways

Internet
The terms Internet and World Wide Web are often used interchangeably, but they're actually not the same. The Internet is a global network connecting millions of computers worldwide. More than 100 countries use this system to communicate data and information. Communication can several forms, such as e-mail, discussion groups, and information retrieved via the World Wide Web (also known as the Web).

Internet Service Provider
most commonly referred to as an ISP; a company that provides access to the Internet. For a monthly fee, most ISPs give you a software package, a username, a password, and an access phone number. Once you have registered with the ISP and installed the software, you can log on to the Internet, browse the World Wide Web, and send and receive e-mail.

keyword
the word(s) or phrase(s) you enter into a search engine's search field

LISTSERV
An automatic mailing list server developed by Eric Thomas in 1986. When e-mail is addressed to a LISTSERV mailing list, it is automatically sent to everyone on that list.

meta-search engine
a type of search engine that scans multiple search engines simultaneously and provides results based on the keyword(s) submitted

navigation
that which facilitates movement from one Web page to another Web page. Often, sites provide Previous and Next buttons, a Home button, and other tools to ensure that the site's contents are easily accessible through a variety of paths.

navigate
to move around within a series of Web pages by clicking on hypertext links that take you from one Web page to another

newsgroup
a forum, or an online discussion group on the Internet, covering a specific interest. There are literally thousands of newsgroups on the Internet that allow users to view and post messages.

online
the state of being connected to the Internet, usually through an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or a network

search engine
a program that searches for Web documents with keyword (s) you specify. Yahoo and Google are just two examples of search engines that have been created to meet the demand for quickly finding information.

search query
the act of conducting a keyword search

server
a computer or device on a network that stores and manages network resources and responds to requests for information. Different types of servers include file servers, print servers, and network servers.

URL
short for Uniform Resource Locator; an address for documents found on the Web. (See Evaluating Web Sites for a thorough lesson on URLs.)

World Wide Web
one component of the Internet. Specifically, the Web is a collection of documents and applications residing on Internet servers around the world.

Web page
a single document on a Web site

Web site
a collection of linked documents that contains text and other media elements, such as graphics, animation, video, and audio