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 <email@example.com>
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.
>From: Search Day [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>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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