Library Home page | Library Catalog
Skip to main content

Beyond Google: Magazines, Databases & the Deep Web at EBCPL Monticello: The Deep Web

What is the Deep Web?

What is the Deep Web? 

The term "deep web" (also known as the "invisible web" or "hidden web") refers to the vast repository of information that search engines often don't have direct access to, like magazine/journal article databases, other document repositories, and sites with instructional content. Unlike pages on the "surface" web (that is, the web that you can access from search engines), information within these sites is inaccessible to the software spiders and crawlers that create search engine indexes.

How big is the Deep Web?

The Deep Web is estimated to be literally thousands of times larger than the web content found with general search engine queries. The major search engines - Google, Yahoo, Bing - don't bring back all the "hidden" content in a typical search, simply because they can't see that content at all; or can't access it without specialized search parameters and/or search expertise.


Key to the Icons Used in this Guide

Open Access (free)   Open Access -- Access to the site is free to anyone, wherever they are. No library card needed.

In-Library Access Only   In-Library Access only -- can only be accessed on computers on the library building's network. No library card needed.

   Access requires you to enter your library card number  (which must be issued by the library offering the resource)

Access Free, but Registration Required  Access to library cardholders is free, but registration is required (often used by instructional sites that track your learning progress)

    Access to library cardholders is free, but registration is required to take advantage of some optional features

Your Library and the Deep Web

Your Library and the Deep Web

Your public library offers tools that can find content in the "Deep Web" -- content that you can not find using popular web search engines. Some of this "hidden" content is freely accessible--if you know where to look. But other content is not made available for free; and only allows access by authorized users.

Your public library, along with New York State, the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS), and the RCLS Central Library (Newburgh), have paid to license access to much of this content so that you, as a library cardholder, can benefit from the information it provides. Within the library building, that licensed access often appears seamless, because the content providers recognize that access is coming from registered library computers.

Outside the library building (known as "remote access"), users may be prompted to enter their library card number in order to be authorized to access this content.