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American History: Survey


Web Research 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.

  • aggregator
  • a software application (usually Web-based) that gathers news or other information from numerous sources and filters it into one manageable list
  • blogs
  • user-created Web sites that often highlight personal or political interests
  • 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
  • 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.
  • browser
  • software applications such as Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox that display data transmitted from the World Wide Web or a local network
  • 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
  • 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 take 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
  • 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
  • podcasts
  • a media file that is distributed via the Internet for playback on portable devices or computers
  • RSS
  • short for Really Simple Syndication, RSS is a method of delivering news and other updates to users
  • 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.
  • social networks
  • Web sites where people with like-minded interests can share information
  • URL
  • short for Uniform Resource Locator; an address for documents found on the Web
  • 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
  • wikis
  • Web sites where visitors can add, remove, and edit content for the purposes of building an electronic, collaborative warehouse of information