Answered By: APUS Librarians Last Updated: Dec 29, 2015 Views: 4664
The terms “open web” and “free web” both refer to the part of the Internet that can be accessed for free using an Internet search engine like Google. You probably use the open web every day. It's a convenient place to find information and activities of all kinds: song lyrics, recipes, news, weather, shopping, social networking and so much more. But when you’re doing research for a college course, searching the open web can be frustrating, since so much of what is free out there isn't appropriate for college-level research.
The “deep web,” which you might also hear referred to as the “invisible web” or the “hidden web,” includes content that is licensed -- that is, it requires a subscription to access. You might be able to find this content via Google, but you won't be able to view it without paying a fee. That's where your library comes in: we purchase subscriptions from a wide variety of publishers and vendors, so that you can access important deep web content (like scholarly articles and books!).
Learn more by visiting the library's tutorials on searching the open web and the deep web. Links are below