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Criminal Justice Senior Seminar: Internet Searching

Searching the Internet

Although you are directed to use web sources "sparingly," you may have need of statistics or reports from government or other web sites. 

Statistical Resources

Government Resources

Reading the URL

When evaluating a website there are several things to take into consideration, one of the first things to look at is the URL (Uniform Resource Locator: a protocol for specifying addresses on the Internet) this can often tell you several things about the website, the creator, the audience, the purpose and sometimes even the country of origin. The URL is the address you type in to get to a web site the http://uscupstate.edu/library (our library’s address) or https://www.google.se/ (Sweden’s Google search).

A domain name is like a website’s proper name (the part after the www.), businesses and organizations often have a domain name that is their corporate name (for example Microsoft’s domain name is Microsoft.com).  The domain suffix is the end of the domain name (the .com part) and can offer insight into the type of organization the site is linked to.  For example, any commercial enterprise or corporation that has a web site will have a domain suffix of .com, which means it is a commercial entity. Popular domain suffixes include ".com," ".net," ".gov," and ".org," but there are dozens of domain suffixes.  However, since any entity can register domain names with these suffixes, the domain suffix does not always represent the type of website that uses the domain name. For example, many individuals and organizations register ".com" domain names for non-commercial purposes, since the ".com" domain is the most recognized.

The domain suffix might also give you a clue about the geographic origin of a web site, each country also has a unique domain suffix that is meant to be used for websites within the country. For example, Brazilian websites may use the ".br" domain suffix, Chinese websites may use the ".cn" suffix, and Australian websites may use the ".au" suffix. These country-based TLDs, sometimes referred to as "country codes," are also used to specify different versions of an international website. For example, the German home page for Google is "www.google.de" instead of "www.google.com."

http://agriculture.sc.gov/divisions/agency-services/state-farmers-markets/

From this web address, you can tell it is a Government site (.gov) and it is for the state of South Carolina (.sc) the domain name is for the Department of Agriculture. The page is for a listing of state farmers markets, you can see the path to the filename after each backslash (/).