Friday, February 25, 2011

My Favorite Web Resources: Part I

As part of my coursework I have been charged with exploring and a evaluating a multitude of print and online reference resources. I’m doing this work in 3 batches, so for each batch of resources I’d like to share my favorites with you. Since you’re reading this blog, I’m assuming you’re a fan or at least a user of the internet. That being said I will focus on valuable web resources that will make your everyday information quests easier. You may be wondering, “Can’t I just google what I’m looking for?” Well--yes. Yes you can. I’ve found that the resources listed below offer more credible and relevant results than my typical Google search. So, here are some of my favorite web reference resources to date:

To library types, this resource may seem like an obvious pick. Before I began library school I was not familiar with WorldCat, so I’m assuming some of my readers may not have used this resource. WorldCat is a compilation of catalogs from member libraries from around the world. Users can conduct general searches to see what materials are available on a particular subject. By clicking on an entry you see standard bibliographic information as well as a listing of libraries who own the resource (in order of geographic proximity). If you really like buying books the entries also link to web retailers who will sell it to you. Attention scholars and students--entries also include citation information in APA, MLA and Chicago style among others. Just so we’re clear, WorldCat catalogs more than books. The catalog captures everything from DVDs, downloadable audio books to full text journal articles and web resources.

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia
I may end up eating my words, but I’m done with WebMD. A.D.A.M medical encyclopedia is now my preferred source for self diagnosis (yes...that was a joke). But seriously, at some point we all need to know about health and wellness issues. A.D.A.M., a service of the National Library of Medicine, is a user friendly, reliable resource for health information. Articles include information on causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment. Articles also give recommendations for when to consult a physician. The best part-- articles list their contributors and their sources, so you know where the information is coming from.

By definition, ipl2 is a guide. What does this mean? You can search ipl2 (like you would with google) or you can browse for resources by topic. Because ipl2 is a guide and not a search engine website listings include a brief description of the website’s content. ipl2 includes sections for kids and teens on their site, providing a safe haven of searching and researching for younger users. The site is developed and maintained by library and information science students within consortium schools like Drexel University and the University of Michigan--so the information can be trusted.

Go ahead-- try out these resources as part of your everyday web searches. Hopefully you will find that they provide you dependable and relevant results.

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