15.437 on and around the WWW: Resource Discovery Network

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Sat Jan 05 2002 - 05:24:56 EST

  • Next message: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty

                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 437.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Sat, 05 Jan 2002 10:08:15 +0000
             From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org>
             Subject: The UK's Resource Discovery Network

    News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
    from across the Community
    January 4, 2002

                          The UK's Resource Discovery Network

    >Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 07:52:47 -0800 (PST)
    >From: Melissa Riesland <riesland65@YAHOO.COM>
    >News and links about the Resource Discovery Network
    >(RDN) in the UK.
    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: Search Day [mailto:listsupport@internet.com]
    >Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 7:44 AM
    > >
    + Gateway to the Invisible Web
    The Invisible Web is an enchanted realm for searchers, but only if you know
    how to access its abundant treasures. The Resource Discovery Network (RDN)
    is an outstanding gateway to thousands of Invisible Web sites that's as
    close to a search engine for the hidden web as you're likely to find.

    The RDN is a web directory compiled by subject and information experts in
    colleges, universities and related organizations throughout the United
    Kingdom. These individuals identify, catalogue and describe high quality
    Internet resources relevant to teaching, learning and research.

    Like the U.S. based Librarian's Index to the Internet, the RDN is not a
    "pure" invisible web directory, but a considerable portion of its high
    quality content consists of material indexed poorly (if at all) by
    conventional search engines.
    The RDN is structured as a cooperative network consisting of a central
    organization and a number of independent service providers called hubs.
    Experienced searchers will recognize many of these hubs, which include:

    BIOME - Health and Life Sciences

    EEVL - Engineering, Mathematics and Computing

    Humbul - Humanities

    PSIgate - Physical Sciences

    SOSIG - Social Sciences, Business and Law

    While these hubs can be used independently, browsing the RDN lets you
    easily access all of them under a unified interface. Even better, the
    site's search function provides cross-disciplinary querying of all RDN
    resources with a single search.

    The service currently links to more than 35,000 human selected resources
    organized into eleven topical categories.

    The RDN also offers a news service called "Behind the Headlines" that
    offers links to in-depth resources and information for a wide range of
    current events. It's an excellent way to get information not always
    provided by the mainstream media. For example, related to the current
    instability in Zimbabwe, there are links to both government controlled web
    sites and independent groups advocating democratic reform in the country.

    The RDN's "Virtual Training Suite" is another useful resource. This is a
    set of online tutorials designed to help students, lecturers and
    researchers improve their Internet information skills. The tutorials take
    around an hour each to complete, and include quizzes and interactive
    exercises. The tutorials provide both an excellent way to sharpen research
    skills and to learn what's available online for specific subject areas.

    The RDN is also pushing the envelope when it comes to resource discovery,
    according to Simon Jennings, Manager of the Resource Discovery Network
    Centre. "In the medium term we will be developing an advanced search and a
    search engine based on harvesting one hop away from all the links in our
    35,000 hand selected and described records," says Jennings. "The software
    will store (and we hope, in future, utilise) the linking relationships
    between all items in the database."

    In other words, the RDN is applying Google-like techniques to find
    additional web resources based on the "recommendations" made by links in
    its existing database of selected sites. This "focused crawler" approach
    to resource discovery is providing excellent results, when a bit of
    filtering is applied, says Jennings.

    The RDN is a first-rate gateway to some of the best resources available on
    the Web. And, given that it points the way into numerous regions of the
    Invisible Web, it's a tremendously valuable pathfinder for all of us.
    The Resource Discovery Network

    RDN "Behind the Headlines"

    RDN "Virtual Training Suite"

    The Librarians' Index to the Internet
    The Librarians' Index to the Internet (LII) is a searchable, annotated
    subject directory of more than 8,500 Internet resources selected and
    evaluated by librarians for their usefulness to users of public libraries.
    Navigating the Invisible Web
    A brief overview of the Invisible Web.
    This newsletter is published by INT Media Group,
    http://internet.com - The Internet & IT Network
    Copyright (c) 2001 INT Media Group, Incorporated.
    All rights reserved.



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