Uniqueness

Uniqueness relates to the amount of primary information contained within the resource which is not obtainable from other sources.

Quality warning!

On the Internet many resources contain little primary or original information. Resources often contain only secondary information - information about information - and simply link to resources held externally on other servers. It is also common for resources to repeat information that is available elsewhere. A resource containing primary information that is unavailable from other sources, and in particular other online sources is likely to be of greater value than a resource containing secondary information, unless there has been significant value added.

Worst case scenarios:

Imagine doing a search - getting thousands of hits - only to find that they all contain very similar information, either with text that has been lifted from other sources or with no primary information at all - only links to other sites. You may end up going round in circles by following the links and have to look at many pages before you find any original information.

Detecting Uniqueness

Questions to ask:
  • does the resource contain any original work?
  • is there some primary information on the site?
  • does the resource consist of more than a list of links to external sites?
  • if there are links to external sites, has some value been added, such as annotations?
Clues to look for:
  • check the URLs of links to see if they take you to information within the site or to external sites created by somebody else
  • the "About this site" links often lead to clues about the uniqueness of the information
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