Has a large-scale screen turned up a potential gene-of-interest that you know nothing about? Your computer is a portal to a wealth of information that can save you valuable time and resources. Freely available data can help to determine whether a particular gene is worthy of further research, and what direction that research should take. Presented here are approaches to mining the Internet, including searching popular model organism databases. The primer covers two typical scenarios: the gene of interest is well characterized, or mostly uncharacterized. Also featured are interviews with Monte Westerfield, PhD, Director of the Zebrafish Information Network (ZFIN) online database, and Principal Investigator of the Human Protein Reference Database (HPRD) project, Akhilesh Pandey, MD, PhD. Developmental Dynamics 236:2962–2969, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.