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Wushe Zhiyang

Wushe Zhiyang

Thursday, 19 May 2016 03:36

Library and Internet Research

As repositories of our collective knowledge, libraries and the Internet host our cultural heritage, the memory of our present and past civilizations. Admittedly, though, the cornucopia of information accessible via the Internet and archived in libraries can be overwhelming, particularly if you are just becoming accustomed to the research process.

Conducting library and Internet research helps you quickly find the information you need. This page provides useful suggestions about how to conduct Boolean searches, for instance, and offers advice about how to identify whether you should begin your research using the Open Web, the Gated Web, or the Hidden Web.

Research Libraries vs. the Web

Many people are confused about what constitutes library research versus what constitutes Internet research. Some people argue that effective research is never conducted on the Internet, that one needs access to the resources of a library to conduct thorough investigations. People in this camp argue that institutional libraries pay significant sums to provide access to proprietary databases to their customers -- that is, databases that offer abstracts, bibliographical information, and, oftentimes, full texts of articles published in scholarly journals. Also, research purists may argue that documents published on the Internet lack the authority of research that is peer-reviewed and published by major publishers. Something important to consider is the difference between an Internet resource and an academic resource accessed via the Internet. For example, if I simply Google "research method," one of my first search results is from about.com - a good resource, but not necessarily an academic resource. Although I can glean about.com for useful information about the generics of a topic like "research methods," for the purposes of an academic research assignment, it may be wise to use the Internet to access my library's databases (like Academic Search Premier, JSTOR, etc.) for online access to a plethora of information pertaining to my search term. The Internet hosts a variety of resources, some of which are useful for casual, everyday references (like about.com) and others which are more appropriate for an academic research assignment (like my library's databases: Academic Search Premier, JSTOR, etc.)

Because of a misunderstanding about the way in which the Internet serves both purposes (casual, everyday research and formal, academic research) some students report they never use their library's resources. Studies of the research processes of students have found that many students limit their investigations to search engines such as Google, paying especially close attention to the first eight or so hits on any search. Unfortunately, students who conduct research in this way often end up with sources that they later realize aren't useful in crafting informed, thorough, formal academic research and/or arguments.

To conduct effective research, you may need to use both the library and the Internet. Limiting yourself to the library cuts off some very innovative work that may not yet be accessible for your library's periodical indexes and abstracts. In turn, relying solely on the Internet is like trying to dig a hole with your tongue rather than a shovel: extremely counterproductive and a waste of time.

Information junkies know arguments for using either the library or the Internet are out of touch with reality. As research libraries increase the number of electronic resources they subscribe to, many traditional resources are now accessible via the Internet--although passwords may be required. In other words, distinctions between the library and the Web are blurring.

The Open Web, the Gated Web, and The Hidden Web

To conduct thorough research, you need to access information in three places: the Open Web, the Gated Web, and the Deep Web.

2-The Open Web: 

Refers to the free information on the Internet that is readily searchable with an Internet search engine and accessible with an Internet browser, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

2-The Gated Web: 

Refers to information that requires a log-in and password for access. Information archived at the gated web tends to be copyrighted and accessible for a fee. To pay their expenses--including payments for authors, editors, and for salespeople who represent and market the work--publishers need to see a return on their investment so they do not simply post their publications to the Internet. Libraries pay publishers and database index companies significant sums of money so their users can access information via the Gated Web. When you use your computer to log in to your college or university's library, you may be prompted to provide your name, social security number, or student identification number. After authenticating your information, the library's computer server allows you to access the journals and databases to which your library subscribes.

3-The Hidden Web:

The Deep Web, the Invisible Web are terms that are used interchangeably to refer to Web sites and databases that contain information that can't be found using top-level search engines like Yahoo or Google. The Deep Web includes non-html files, such as PDFs; gated sites that require log-ins; interactive tools like map directions or mortgage calculators; and dynamically created Web pages--that is, pages created by databases. The Deep Web is 500 to 700 times larger than the Open Web. According to Bright Planet, the Deep Web "contains billions of high-quality documents in about 350,000 specialty databases.

Source:  http://writingcommons.org/open-text/information-literacy/library-and-internet-research/732-library-and-internet-research

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 01:18

Internet Law - Guide to Cyberspace Law

Internet Law, or Cyberlaw as it is sometimes called, refers to the legal issues related to the use of the Internet. It is less a distinct field of law than a conglomeration of intellectual property law, contract law, privacy laws, and many other fields, and how they pertain to the use of the Internet.


Unique Nature of Cyberlaw

If there can be laws that could govern the Internet, then such laws will require a unique structure to grapple with the international and ethereal nature of the web. Many argue the Internet is not actually “regulable” at all, while others argue that not only can it be regulated but substantial bodies of law already exist. Since the Internet is not geographically bound, national laws can not apply globally. A few international agreements exist, but some have argued that the Internet should be allowed to self-regulate as its own "nation."


Internet Regulation


Aside from blatant censorship of the Internet in nations like China, Saudi Arabia, or Iran, there are four primary modes of regulation of the internet: Laws, Architecture, Norms, and Markets.


1. Laws are the most obvious form of regulation. As various states, countries, and international groups attempt to grapple with issues raised by the use of the Internet, they normally effect their policies through the implementation of laws. Such regulations govern areas like gambling, child pornography, and fraud. Of course, the shortcoming of laws are their limited geographical scope. After all, should internet sites hosted in foreign countries but available globally have to comply with varying, and sometimes conflicting, laws in every corner of the globe?


2. Architecture refers to how information literally can and cannot be transmitted across the Internet. This can refer to everything from internet filtering software, to firewalls, to encryption programs, and even the very basic structure of internet transmission protocols, like TCP/IP. In many ways, this is the most fundamental form of Internet regulation, and all other areas of Cyberlaw must relate to or rely upon it in some fashion since it is, quite literally, how the Internet is made.


3. Norms refer to the ways in which people interact with one another. Just as social norms govern what is and is not appropriate in regular society, norms also affect behavior across the Internet. In other words, while laws may fail to regulate certain activities allowed by the architecture of the internet, social norms may allow the users to control such conduct. For example, many online forums allow users to moderate comments made by other users. Comments found to be offensive or off topic can be flagged and removed. This is a form of norm regulation.


4. Similar to norm regulation is market regulation. Market regulation controls patterns of conduct on the internet through the traditional economic principles of supply and demand. If something is unpopular, it will lack a demand and eventually fail. On the other hand, if there is too much supply, then competitors will eventually have to find ways to differentiate themselves or become obscured by the competition. This helps to prevent predatory conduct, drive innovation, and forces websites to self-regulate in order to retain customers and remain viable.


Net Neutrality


Another major area of interest in Internet Law is net neutrality. Net neutrality refers to regulations of the infrastructure of the Internet, itself. Every piece of information transmitted across the internet is broken into what are called “packets” of data, then passed through routers and transmission infrastructure owned by a variety of private and public entities, like telecommunications companies, universities, and government agencies. This has become a major area of concern in recent years, because changes to laws affecting this infrastructure in one jurisdiction could have a ripple effect, changing how information is sent and received in other jurisdictions whether those areas would otherwise be subject to the jurisdiction of the country implementing the new law or not.


Free Speech on the Internet


While the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees Americans a right to free speech, this is not so in other nations around the globe. The Internet has allowed those living in many repressive countries, where free speech is not a right, to rely upon the cloak of anonymity granted by the Internet to have their voices heard. The rise of the Internet has been credited, in part, as the cause of many of the political movements around the world seeking greater access and equality, such as the “Arab Spring” incidents.


Of course, this leads to an inevitable backlash in the form of internet censorship. China is one of the most staunch in its efforts to filter unwanted parts of the internet from its citizens, but many other countries, like Singapore, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia, have also engaged in such censorship.


Other Areas of Internet Law


Other topics that have been affected by the rise of the Internet, or which appear to be on the horizon, include areas such as privacy, intelligence gathering, fraud, cyberbullying, and cyberterrorism. As quickly as technology evolves, so too will the various legal issues presented by these innovations.


Source:  https://www.hg.org/internet-law.html


Wikipedia has begun naming links to its online encyclopaedia that have been removed from EU search results under "right to be forgotten" rules.

The deleted links include pages about European criminals, a musician and an amateur chess player.

The Wikimedia Foundation, which operates the site, said the internet was being "riddled with memory holes" as a result of such takedowns.

The action follow a European Court of Justice ruling in May.

The judges involved decided that citizens had the right to have links to "irrelevant" and outdated data erased from search engine results.

Wikipedia is publishing copies of the removal notices it has received
A fortnight ago Google briefed data regulators that it had subsequently received more than 91,000 requests covering a total of 328,000 links that applicants wanted taken down, and had approved more than 50% of those processed.

The search engine is critical of the court's decision, but has set up a page that people can use to request removals.

At a press conference in London, the Wikimedia Foundation revealed that Google had notified it of five requests involving Wikipedia that it had acted on, affecting more than 50 links to its site.

A dedicated page on Wikipedia states that they include:

  • An English-language page about Gerry Hutch, a Dublin-born businessman nicknamed "the Monk" who was jailed in the 1980s
  • A photograph of a musician, Tom Carstairs, holding a guitar
  • An Italian-language page about Banda della Comasina, the name the media gave to a group of criminals active in the 1970s
  • An Italian-language page about Renato Vallanzasca, an Italian who was jailed after involvement in kidnappings and bank robberies
  • Dozens of Dutch-language pages that mention Guido den Broeder, a chess player from the Netherland

"We only know about these removals because the involved search engine company chose to send notices to the Wikimedia Foundation," the organisation's lawyers wrote in a blog.

"Search engines have no legal obligation to send such notices. Indeed, their ability to continue to do so may be in jeopardy.

"Since search engines are not required to provide affected sites with notice, other search engines may have removed additional links from their results without our knowledge. This lack of transparent policies and procedures is only one of the many flaws in the European decision."

EU regulators have expressed concern that Google is notifying website administrators of the links it removes, suggesting this undermines the point of the law.

While the links do not appear on Google.co.uk and other versions of the search engine created for specific EU countries, they do still appear on Google.com, which can be accessed in Europe.


Data requests

The Wikimedia Foundation has also published its first transparency report - following a similar practice by Google, Twitter and others.

It reveals that the organisation received 304 general content removal requests between July 2012 and June 2014, none of which it complied with.

They included a takedown request from a photographer who had claimed he owned the copyright to a series of selfies taken by a monkey.

Gloucestershire-based David Slater had rotated and cropped the images featured on the site.

But the foundation rejected his claim on the grounds that the monkey had taken the photo, and was therefore the real copyright owner.

The foundation also revealed it had received 56 requests for data about its users.

It said it had complied with eight of these requests, affecting 11 accounts. All of these resulted in information being passed to US-based bodies.

"If we must produce information due to a legally valid request, we will notify the affected user before we disclose, if we are legally permitted and have the means to do so," the foundation said.

"In certain cases, we may help find assistance for users to fight an invalid request.

Source: http://www.bbc.com

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World's leading professional association of Internet Research Specialists - We deliver Knowledge, Education, Training, and Certification in the field of Professional Online Research. The AOFIRS is considered a major contributor in improving Web Search Skills and recognizes Online Research work as a full-time occupation for those that use the Internet as their primary source of information.

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