Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See
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I retired five years ago after thirty years in a very large public library system, and recently found it necessary to return to the trenches for awhile, in a rather smaller system. In that half-decade, of course, the Internet changed drastically and, even though I'm constantly online and intimately familiar with the major search engines (and many of the minor ones), there was a large number of new reference information sources with which I was not at all familiar. So I went looking for professional tools to remedy my ignorance. This is the first book I've seen in the publisher's "CyberAge" series, and medthodologically, it's quite good. As others have noted, the static nature of print-on-paper means rapidly outdated material, but Sherman and Price show you how to attack the problem, so, even though I came across several (unfortunately) extinct databases, I was able to locate several new ones, too. This is a terrific instructional work for reference librarians, and the accompanying web site is near the top of my bookmarks at work.
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on May 1, 2002
Its always risky to buy a web guide, when by its own omission, half of the web sites will be dead in two years. My own use of the web addresses in the book, found a few dead, but the author's "invisible web" web site had updated links. As search engines get better the current "invisible webs" becomes more visible, and are probably replaced with a new class of invisible webs. My own recent search was able to find many of the "invisible sites" in this book, so perhaps this book is best at giving you ideas of how to search better, for example if your looking for books search for "Library of Congress". In the context of where this review is, Amazon is a great translucent source for info on books.
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on November 11, 2001
As much as eighty percent of the authoritative information accessible over the Net doesn't appear on the popular search engines: so how can individuals access databases from universities, libraries, associations, and government agencies? The Invisible Web introduces over 1,000 major information sites and provides tips on how to search them. From vital statistics to public records and academic collections, The Invisible Web packs in rich sources.
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on March 28, 2010
This WAS a fantastic book. Many of the websites referenced in this book are defunk, deleted, or redirected.
This book is from 2001. No new editions, that I know of.
There is useful information within, but what may have been enlightening at the beginning of this decade is common knowledge today. Good references. Great book for its time. Well written.
But even the books own websites are closed.
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on December 12, 2001
What a great book, essential reading for anyone who uses the web to find information. It explains, clearly and concisely, what the invisible web is (the 80% of the web that is NOT indexed by search engines) and why that material is 'invisible'. In addition, the book has 19 (!) chapters with descriptions of invisible web resources on topics ranging from health/medicine to news to science. This book should be on every web searcher's desk.
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on May 28, 2003
"The Invisible Web" is a thorough, thoughtful guide to finding information lying just outside the reach of search engines. It can be divided into two parts.
The first part describes the strengths and weaknesses of search engines as tools for finding information on the World Wide Web and provides a good overview of the technical and business limitations that lead to the weaknesses. At the same time, the authors also provide a high-level explanation of how search engines operate and a comprehensive explanation of what types of resources are left out of search engine indexes. Although this section is a bit repetitive, it also stands as the best explanation I have encountered on the subject of Web resource accessibility (and inaccessibility) through the popular tools that searchers have at their disposal.
The second part provides a list of Invisible Web resources (resources that can not be indexed by search engines), organized by subject, with annotations. I personally did not find this list comprehensive, but it is a good place to start for those who have previously relied solely on search engines and directories for Web searching.
If you want to understand what resources are just beyond the grasp of search engines, and get a hand on them yourself, "The Invisible Web" is a great book to get you started.
Note: some of the URL's sited in the second part of the book are now gone. This is not a criticism of the book, but a reflection of the ever-changing nature of the Web.
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on April 18, 2012
I read this book in 2001 and it really opened my eyes. Unfortunately, it is impossible to keep up with advances on the internet, and all that information would be outdated for 2012.

However, just learning the catch phrase "Invisible Web" will serve you well enough. Do a google search on that term in quotes and you will find dozens of fantastic articles online, providing the updated information and an amazing number of resources and Invisible Web search engines.
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on February 27, 2006
The author is the unsurpassed guru of InterNet searching, and is explicitly relied upon by other authors engaging in the same work. His website is the mother lode of additional information, which is very helpful. If you have one book on your shelf regarding InterNet resources, this should be it. That said, Mr. Sherman relies heavily upon explanations of the breadth and depth of various resources; these explanations are designed to pique the reader's interest in further self-directed exploration, but may be more than the average searcher might need.
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on November 3, 2012
This book is excellent. It is filled with information that you cannot get anywhere else about the Web and how to excess all the "hidden 3/4" of the Web hardly anyone knows is there. It is well written and very easy to comprehend
I found out about it tru an mail link from, "Search Engine Watch.com". This site is filled daily with great links daily to how the Search Engines work! To me, It is a must have book for anyone that uses the Internet at all!
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on October 30, 2014
Extremely well written. Lots of information about the "invisible web".
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