Monday, October 5, 2009

Finding GOOD information on the web

You may do most of your research on websites, or you may have the opinion that the Internet can't be trusted as a source of information. The truth is between the two extremes. There is a lot of valuable information on the Web, some of which can't be found anywhere else. But that valuable information is the proverbial needle in a haystack. What you need is a magnet!

There are a number of sites that can be considered powerful magnets for finding that needle. They have people who find the best resources in every topic and then list, categorize, and describe them for you.
  • Open Directory Project - the largest human-reviewed directory on the web. Its human reviewers are volunteers, so not all of them are information professionals or subject experts.
  • Librarians' Internet Index - the human reviewers are information professionals but not subject experts. Selection criteria are stricter, and the site is smaller.
  • Internet Scout Project - information professionals and content specialists work together to select sites that are included here. This site is the smallest and has the strictest selection criteria.
The next time you need web resources on your topic, don't just dig through the whole mess with a search engine. First look in these places, to see if someone else has already done all the digging!

Bear in mind that the people who selected the resources on these sites may have standards for reliability and usefulness that differ from your own. Always use critical thinking to evaluate resources and the information they contain. More on that can be found here: Evaluating Websites
Questions? Ask a Librarian

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