Beyond Evaluation

By Kirkwood, Jr., Hal P. | Online, July-August 1998 | Go to article overview

Beyond Evaluation


Kirkwood, Jr., Hal P., Online


Librarians and information professionals are fully aware of the continuing exponential growth of the Internet and especially the World Wide Web. The constant struggle to keep up with the technology, the frustration of surfing for useful sites, and the battle with search engines that return 200,000 hits is all too familiar.

Librarians have been writing prodigiously about the need to evaluate information on the World Wide Web. Over 100 articles can be found on the Net or in print on this subject [1]. Most discuss methods of evaluation and training for end-users on how to evaluate Web-based resources [2,3]. A smaller number touch on the need for librarians to become more involved in reviewing and evaluating Internet resources.

It is a librarian's training and expertise in information selection, value-added evaluation and comparison, and efficient presentation of information that is most needed regarding the Internet. There is much room for improvement and further development in the area of qualitative evaluation of Internet resources. Here is a status report on Web site evaluation efforts, a model, and some suggestions.

THE NEED FOR EVALUATION

The accuracy and functionality of Internet search engines leaves much to be desired in the way of evaluative information. Results, for the average user, are often links to the same site or irrelevant links to personal or commercial pages. The reviews, if any, consist of brief uninformative blurbs on the site.

There remains a significant need for evaluating Internet resources [4]. Issues of unevenness of quality, lack of peer-review or accountability, the increasing number of sites on the same topic, and the potential degradation of popular Web directories and search engines continue to create difficulties in finding and using quality resources on the Internet [5].

People, including librarians, who are creating simple or extensive collections of links to Internet sites are doing a grave disservice. Librarians should be practicing what they preach by providing solid information on why they chose to link to these sites.

We (librarians) should be providing comparative information to other electronic and print sources--supposedly what we were trained for and what we do best. The arguments come fast and furious on this topic--too many sites, not enough time, can't compete with commercial services, yadda, yadda, yadda. Encouragingly, a look at the Internet shows a growing involvement by librarians and others interested in separating the good from the bad. The medium, with its easy ability to self-publish and the immediate access to a global audience, demands evaluation.

WHAT'S OUT THERE?

There are, and have been, many evaluative sites for Internet resources.

Dead Sites

Several guides have already gone the way of the dodo or are missing in action, including:

* Cyberhound (http://www. cyberhound.com/), which is now available only in print from Gale Research

* GNN Select (bought out by AOL)

* CNET Best of the Web (http:// www.cnet.com/Content/Reviews/ Bestofweb)

* Sitegrade

* IGuide

Merged, but Still Around

Still others are now merged with other services:

* Excite Reviews is no longer a separate entity, and with Excite's purchase of Magellan (http://www.mckinley.com) and WebCrawler Select, it appears that it is planning to merge these reviews in some way.

* Lycos now owns the Point Top 5% Reviews (http://point.lycos.com/ categories/), adding it to their Sites from A2Z collection (http://a2z.lycos.com/)

All these sites are notable for the fact that they have, or once had, substantial financial backing. They are also notable for the lack of useful information contained in the reviews.

New Review Sites

As some review sites disappeared, new ones have sprouted including:

* Yahoo! …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Beyond Evaluation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.