What are Favorites and Bookmarks?
Once you have found a useful website, whether through a referral or a search engine, there are several things you can do to further assist your research. While in the next section we will discuss making sure that the information on a particular site is factual and current, for this portion, we will assume it is.
First and foremost, when you find a site that may be useful, your browser has the ability to save the address. Internet Explorer calls these sites "Favorites" and Netscape Navigator uses the term "Bookmarks." By saving the web address within your browser window, you will be able to return to the site in the future without having to remember the exact URL.
When using Internet Explorer, saving a website address is relatively simple. Clicking on the "Favorites" button on the toolbar will activate a drop down menu which will off the option to "Add to Favorites". By clicking "Add to Favorites" a second menu will open allowing you to name the site you are saving. The default site name will automatically be inserted for you however, a user can choose to rename the site in a way that jogs their memory as to its contents.
The process is just as simple when using Netscape. In your menu options, select "communicator," then select "bookmarks" and the "add to bookmarks" option will appear. However, Netscape will automatically save the default web site name which can be changed by choosing to "edit bookmarks."
You can easily return to your saved sites by clicking the "Favorites" icon on Internet Explorer or the "Bookmark" icon on Netscape.
Internet Explorer allows users to organize these "favorites." Clicking on "Organize Favorites" button gives you the option of creating folders within your Favorites folder to better organize your saved sites. This is very useful if more than one person uses a computer, if you are researching more than one topic, or if you wish to segregate your recreational and research sites. In addition, the "Organize Favorites" option allows you to delete saved sites, move bookmarks between folders, and create subfolders. Similar options are provided on Netscape under the "Bookmarks" menu.
Internet Explorer also provides a history icon which allows you to view a list of websites recently visited. The list can be customized to view websites visited up to 90 days prior. This is helpful when you have forgotten to save as site or to retrace your steps when conducting research. Netscape provides your surfing history in a drop down box located in the web site address bar.
While conducting online research it is a good practice to periodically review your history and take a second look at sites which you visited but may not have saved. A second look at a website might provide useful information that was overlooked the first time.
The history can also be useful when following links from one site to another. Links listed on a site can be a great shortcut to finding pertinent information online inasmuch as they can direct you to information that the author of the site found helpful. Should a particular site prove useful in your research, their suggested sites may also be as informative.
It is important to remember that the two browsers, Explorer and Netscape, offer a variety of ways to surf the web using similar characteristics. We recommend trying both browsers to determine which program you are more comfortable using.