Reviewed by:
  • The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook: A Guide for the Serious Searcher by Randolph Hock
  • Jackie MacDonald, adjunct professor
Randolph Hock . The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook: A Guide for the Serious Searcher, 4th ed. Medford, NJ: CyberAge Books, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-937290-02-3. US$24.95.

With experience as a librarian, adjunct professor and Internet trainer, and as a leading authority on Internet searching, Randolph Hock is well qualified as author of the Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook, now in its fourth edition.

My interest in reviewing this book was that of a MLIS instructor revising a course in expert searching for clients, as well as that of an information-services manager expanding an information search policy into a search standard of practice. For both of these activities, I needed a current overview of the Internet generally and an update on searching social media, open access and grey literature, and content relevant to Canadian contexts. This book focuses on searching the Internet and complements Suzanne Bell's Librarian's Guide to Online Searching, third edition (2012), which focuses on databases.

Extreme Searcher's layout will be familiar to readers of the third edition, as it has evolved slightly from the first two editions. Each of the 10 chapters addresses a broad topic with background information, resource guides in the form of collections of links to "metasites" (major sites), and sites chosen for high value or as typical of their topic. The chapters emphasize Internet content and structure and are rich in detail, and thus of great value to search instructors as few of us know the scope of the Internet as well as the author does. In chapter 1, I marked as course content or readings the following: the Web versus the Internet (p. 1), the Internet timeline (p. 3-6), the Deep Web (p. 23-25) and content evaluation criteria (p. 18-21). This book will also benefit an independent information professional offering expert search services.

This book does not claim to be a source for Canadian content; there are few Canadian sources described and included in the URL list (p. 279-96) or on the book's accompanying Web page ( However, this is not a deterrent for Canadian readers; discussion of Internet history and Web features is universally relevant. Instructors and others who specifically want to identify Canadian sources can use details of the sites given to help them search for Canadian counterparts. The book met my needs as an LIS instructor and department manager generally and with respect to searching for social media. [End Page R1]

It was difficult to find shortcomings worthy of being addressed in this review. I would like to find content on copyright consolidated and expanded with a better introduction to Creative Commons in the next edition. More references would help course instructors who will want to compare this book's concepts and approaches—for example steps in a search (p. 15-17)—with those in other leading works.

This book will contribute to the search success of Internet users at any level. It will be of interest to LIS students, independent information professionals, and others developing search expertise. With its regular updating and revision, Randolph Hock's Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook stands alone as the essential work for Internet users and expert searchers.

Jackie MacDonald, adjunct professor
School of Information Management, Dalhousie University