Discovery Services on the Internet

You can find Internet resources through various discovery services:

Search Engines

Search engines are databases of Web pages that are gathered automatically. Some typical features of search engines:

Search engines are not selective in the pages that they index so although you are almost guaranteed to find matches to your query, the quality of the resources returned will vary enormously.

Evaluating an Internet resource can be very time consuming. What if you don't have the time to evaluate the quality of Internet resources?

Subject Gateways

These services, variably known as subject gateways, information gateways, virtual libraries and clearing houses, differ from the search engines as there has been some human input in the resource selection process. They only point to a resource after it has been critically evaluated by an information professional or subject expert (often librarians or academics). Some typical features of subject gateways are:

They are the Internet equivalent of a library - since each resource has been selected, classified and catalogued by an expert.

Example Subject Gateways

Below is a list of some subject gateways to explore: Remember - when using a selective Internet service look out for the selection criteria that are used and make sure these are suitable for your needs.
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