Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Randolph Hock is an experienced Internet researcher and trainer. The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook reflects his wealth of training and research experience. In a clearly‐written and well structured presentation he counteracts general beliefs that the Internet works like magic: you type a few words in a search box, and within a matter of seconds, links to precise, accurate and current answers will appear. Without intimidating the novice Internet searcher, the reader is taken step‐by‐step through the complexities of Internet research, the decisions to be taken and the need to constantly improve and update search skills. To support the latter, the Web site (www.extremesearcher.com) offers up‐to‐date links to key resources, the latest news, et cetera.
The easy‐to‐follow style and explanations on basic search principles make The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook is an excellent point of departure for novice searchers. The principles discussed include the identification of the main search concepts, search terms, the use of Boolean operators, truncation, limiting the search to a particular format and the choice of the most appropriate search tools. There is, however, also a wealth of tips and resources for experienced searchers, for example, if you do not immediately see how to get back to the home page of a Web site, you should try clicking on the site's logo. Hock explains his intentions for the serious and experienced searchers in the introduction (p. xix): “This book is written for those seeking to savor the extra tastiness from the Internet. It will hopefully tempt you to discover what the nooks and crannies have to offer …”
The book consists of tenchapters covering the following: a brief introduction to the Internet, the Web and invisible Web; general Web directories and portals; specialised directories; search engines; groups and mailing lists; an Internet reference shelf; finding images, audio and video; news resources; finding products online and publishing on the Internet (very briefly). It is concluded with a glossary, URL list linked to the chapters, and a good index. The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook is, however, more than just a book with a wealth of information. It is a “key resource for both those who need a bit of education in the area of Web research and for experienced searchers who need to verify what a specific search tool offers” (“Introduction” by Gary Price, p. xvi).
The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook is highly recommended for all Web searchers and especially librarians, information specialists, Internet trainers, as well as students completing courses in Internet research.