Subject directories, such as Yahoo and Magellan, collect
a relatively small number of sites and arrange them
hierarchically by subject. Under each category and/or sub-
category, links to appropriate Web pages are listed. Web
pages are assigned categories either by the Web page author
or by subject tree administrators. Many subject trees also
have their own keyword searchable indexes. Some have become
blended with search engines that allow keyword searching of
a much larger portion of the Web. Some have a selection
criteria for sites they list and include evaluations.
Well-known subject trees, like Yahoo, present links with
brief annotations. These subject tree sites are typically
large with minimal restrictions as to what will be accepted
Other subject trees, such as Lycos Top 5%, provide
significant added value to each link with commentaries and
ratings provided by skilled reviewers.
Lycos is interesting in that it provides reviewed sites,
unreviewed sites and a powerful search engine.
Subject directories are a good place to start for any Web
search, but are especially useful when one's topic is very
broad or when it is difficult to find exact words to express
one's topic. The limitation is that they represent a very
small portion of the Web and frequently one will not be able
to find needed information just by looking in directories.
Sites to check out:
Librarians' Index to the Internet
A searchable, annotated, subject directory of close to 3,000
Internet resources chosen for their usefulness to the public
library user's information needs.
Web Browser Directories
Many Web browsers have made finding tools for their users.
Netscape,for example, has brought together links to many
directories in one place. If you are using a Netscape
browser, use the "Net Directory" button near the top of the
browser. If you are using another browser, go to:
One of the first and still one of the most comprehensive.
Excellent directory of sites is in two parts -
MacroReference - pointers to large areas of knowledge and
MicroReference - information on and links to specific
WWW Virtual Library
An exciting experimental site created and maintained by W3C,
the World Wide Web Consortium, an international industry
group, founded in 1994 to develop common standards for the
evolution of the World Wide Web. A distributed catalog by
subject. Maintained by experts in each field.
Magellan Internet Guide
Excite reviewed sites
The Argus Clearinghouse
Provides a central access point for value-added topical
guides which identify, describe, and evaluate Internet-based
Lycos "Top 5%
A guide to the best sites on the Web. TOP 5% is a selective
directory of top-shelf sites rated by experienced
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