Information Update - Fall 2004

How to Find the Best of the Web

Just where do we find authoritative peer-reviewed websites? There are a variety of Internet resources to refer and subscribe to that will send regular email updates of reviewed and recommended sites. Suggested sites come in a variety of formats and in general or subject specific areas. Some of the best are the Internet Scout Report, Library Spot, Librarians' Index to the Internet, and These sites index, review, and suggest sites for general ready reference and categorically for specific searching.
Internet Scout Report
The Internet Scout Report is part of the Internet Scout Project which is supported by the University of Wisconsin. The project staff combines academics, professionals, graduate and undergraduate students studying the sciences, social sciences and humanities from library and computer science. The plan was to develop better tools and services for finding, filtering, and presenting online information. Using open source software applications the project combines the best of collaboration, service, and currency in web resources. The target audience is nonprofits and academic institutions. The Scout Report, published every Friday since 1994, both on the web and by email is read by more than 250,000 readers every week. Each edition is available in a searchable archive on the Scout Project's main site. A team of professional librarians and subject specific experts select, research, and annotate each resource. To receive the electronic mail version of the Scout Report each week, join their mailing list (this is the only mail you will receive from this list) go to:
Refdesk indexes and reviews quality, credible, and current information-based sites and assists users in navigation of the Internet by creating a portal to selected resources. Refdesk has three goals: fast access, ease of navigation, and comprehensive content. Evaluative Criteria for Sites Indexed in Refdesk include: free access to site content, authority of the source, accuracy, depth and scope, organization, clarity of presentation, intuitive layout, labeling and indexing, objectivity, currency, and ease of connection and navigation. This site, by the way, is the brainchild of Bob Drudge, father to the infamous Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report.
Refdesk has a variety of daily links including a recommended site of the day which can be received via email at is a free virtual library resource center for educators, students, librarians and general information seekers exploring the Web for useful research information. LibrarySpot was created to sift through the information overload of the World Wide Web and bring quality library and reference sites in one user-friendly "spot." Sites featured on LibrarySpot are selected and reviewed by an editorial team for quality, content, utility and to simplify the search for relevant reference tools, periodicals, online texts, and library information.
The resource is a portal to more than 5,000 libraries around the world where a browser can search card catalogs, inquire about interlibrary loans, find the latest exhibit at the Library of Congress, read full-text articles, explore holdings of the New York Public Library, and type in your address to find the closest library to where you live. The Reference Desk includes sites for business and government information, encyclopedias, dictionaries, calculators, maps, phonebooks, quotations, and statistics. Sites are re-evaluated and updated regularly and are selected for quality, content and utility.
The Reading Room provides links to the top book, journal, newspaper and magazine sites where users can: browse more than 50,000 book reviews, read the on-line text of newspapers from the United States and around the world, locate the full text of copyright free literature, research biographies of authors, and access full-text literary, medical and law journals.
Librarians' Index to the Internet
The Librarians' Index to the Internet (LII) provides a well-organized point of access for reliable librarian-selected reviewed Internet resources. Librarians' Index to the Internet is a searchable, annotated subject directory of more than 14,000 Internet resources which are selected and reviewed by librarians for their useful as reliable information and as a guide to Internet Resources.
There is a strict commitment to quality information. Every site entered in the LII database is reviewed at least twice before it is included and sites are checked regularly for currency and availability. Sites that are purely commercial with no informational content are not considered. E-mail updates can be received of the most current additions to the index by subscribing free to "New This Week," an "excellent current awareness service for keeping track of great new Web sites!"
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