Going for the Gold: Identifying Academic-Quality Internet Resources
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The purpose of this professional article is to review some of the key directories of Internet resources with a special focus on those that announce new academic-quality resources. Significant facets of the directories which will be incorporated in the discussion include scope of coverage, update frequency, identification of any e-mail alerts or RSS feeds offered, and resource selection criteria. Factors determining whether a site is given in-depth or brief coverage in this article include authority, currency, and whether sites are annotated and classified (the quality of the metadata). We also consider whether a site is broadly or narrowly selective. Broadly selective sites include many more resources, which can be an advantage, especially if they cover some of the more unusual topics in academia. At other times, one may be looking for a listing of a few good sites, so the more narrowly selective sites are more appropriate. Subject portals that cover only one topic are not included (as that would require a book); all the sites listed here cover many fields of study. Sites that meet all of our criteria are covered in more-in-depth reviews.We include shorter reviews for sites that, while not meeting all of our criteria, still offer considerable merit and deserve inclusion in our article. Last, in Appendix A, we provide a comparison chart summarizing some of the key facets of the sites reviewed. A literature review was conducted in the early stages of our project, and no comparable surveys of directories of Internet resources were discovered.