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 for inclusion.

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.
http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/InternetIndex/index.html

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:
http://home.netscape.com/home/internet-search.html

Yahoo
One of the first and still one of the most comprehensive. Updated daily.
http://www.yahoo.com/

Internet Encyclopedia
Excellent directory of sites is in two parts - MacroReference - pointers to large areas of knowledge and MicroReference - information on and links to specific topics.
http://clever.net/cam/encyclopedia.html

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.
http://www.w3.org/pub/DataSources/bySubject/Overview.html ;

Magellan Internet Guide
http://www.mckinley.com/

Excite reviewed sites
http://www.excite.com/?1ag

The Argus Clearinghouse
Provides a central access point for value-added topical guides which identify, describe, and evaluate Internet-based information resources.
http://www.clearinghouse.net/

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 reviewers.
http://point.lycos.com/categories/

 

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8/13/98