Deep Web Tools

By dabilendabilen (1260161998|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Definition

The Deep Web, or invisible web, is all content on the world wide web that is not on the surface for various reasons, but primarily because it is not indexed by most search engines. This content can be anything from query results of a specific query to a page created by John Doe that has not been linked to any other page. Whatever the case, these types of content are not captured by the average web crawler, hence it is not indexed.

As the web has grown the deep web has grown dramatically and deep web tools have surfaced to offer access to this growing, yet often overlooked resource.

If you are still confused after that brief overview, as I was when I first learned about the deep web, this video should help explain things.

Function

Beyond the simple function of granting user access to a lot of information that is not normally accessible via normal search engine results from the Googles and Bings of the world, these tools serve as stronger academic tools. Many private databases that require paid subscriptions to get access may be picked up by a deep web tool. In essence, some reports, articles, etc. that may seemingly inaccessible may pop up in a deep web tool. If, the resources are not freely accessible, many times these tools will still have access to previews of information.

Therefore, before going to pay the big bucks for a fancy database because there seems no other way around it, I would suggest using some deep web tools to see if you can get the information you are looking for.

Analysis

At this point in time many search engine tools exist to give online users access to the deep web. Below is a brief analysis of two tools, Google Scholar and Biznar, that I have found useful in my quest to research the Solar Energy Industry

scholar_logo.gif

Site: http://scholar.google.com/
Type of Tool: Deep Web Academic Tool
Reason to Use: As mentioned this tool is more academically focused as it indexes primarily journals, patents and legal opinions. For solar energy research, that is a very relevant type of information that I need access to, hence the usefulness.
Evaluation: Google Scholar does a nice job in using the same google interface we all know and love to offer a different search engine experience. As expected the same syntax is applicable here since it is a google product. Ease of customization from searches is nice, with drop down menus to further refine displayed results. I was happy to see my query resulted in only twenty results of value, opposed to the millions I am used to, of which few would be helpful.
Warning: This tool can make you into a nerd if you are not careful

GoogleScholar.png

As seen in the image above, the interface is the same as google's normal search engine, except for a few additional drop down menus for result customization, as referenced earlier. Overall, this tool does the job in doing what it claims.

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