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Information Retrieval

Unreliability of Health Information on the Web

Stephen Francoeur writes \"The NY Times reports in this story on the findings of a study published this week in the JAMA about the unreliability of health information on the Web. \"


Not too suprising, I guess, they found that most of the time, health information on the Internet is hard to find, hard to read and often incorrect or incomplete, even on the best sites.

Is Iwon worth it?

The fabulous Greg Notess wrote this article about the value of iwon as a tool for librarians. It was published in Online Magazine.
\"The iWon approach has proved successful for the company, and for those few lucky cash prize winners, but it leads to many questions for the information professional. How can it fit in with the other Net searching tools in our arsenals? What does it search? How can it be used effectively? And what unique ethical dilemmas does it cause? This month\'s column takes a look at some of these issues, as well as at some of the unique ways in which iWon has approached the problem of search.\"

Smarter Searching: AltaVista Debuts Online Newsstand

Michael Liedtke [writes...]
AltaVista will add an online newsstand to its main index Monday to make its results more topical and useful to surfers looking for up-to-the-minute information.

With the new service, Palo Alto-based AltaVista will automatically produce the top stories related to search requests. Clicking on a news center at the top search page will provide a complete index of all the latest online stories about the requested topic.

The new feature, licensed from San Francisco-based Moreover, addresses a glaring shortcoming for even the most powerful search engines. [more...]

Context Providers Add Texture to Your Surf

The complaint that there is no context to validate the credibility of what we find online is creating an opportunity for a new breed of \"context providers.\" Two of them are profiled in this article on Traffick - a look at SiteSherpa and Project Napa.

Web Hoaxes and Misinformation

Be sure to check out the feature article in this months Searcher Magazine. Paul S. Piper discusses many aspects of web site evaluation and misinformation. There is also a nice list of sites that track these Internet hoaxes. A must read for public librarians.\"Misinformation on the Internet is, and will always be, a problem. One of the attributes of the Internet — the fact that nearly anyone can publish on it — creates an environment of freedom and simultaneously an environment that lacks quality control. That lack of quality control often requires the Internet user to perform the filtering done for us transparently in magazines, newsletters, journals, encyclopedias, books, and so on.\"

A Little Searching Help

Here is an article from Newsbytes about those \"Ask A\" services that companies like Webhelp.com seem to think will rule the web searching realm in the future. A word to the wise when using these services...patience, patience, patience.\"After about six minutes, Shawn showed me a page with general information on Dalmatians and asked if this was what I was looking for. I said, \"No, I wanted to buy a Dalmatian.\"

About six or seven minutes later Shawn returned with a list of Dalmatians for sale on eBay.\"

Tool Kit for the Expert Web Searcher

Pat Ensor
writes \"Prominent LITA leader Pat Ensor has
developed a succinct, streamlined guide to the best
tools to use for searching for information on the World
Wide Web. Ensor, chair of the Library and Information
Technology Association\'s Top Technology Trends
Committee, developed this tool kit after finding that
there are very few places on the Web to find constantly
updated recommendations about which search
engines, subject guides, and other resources are most
effective in producing fast, relevant, and authoritative
results for information-seekers. The Tool Kit for
the Expert Web Searcher can be accessed at l
ita.org
\"

A Gnu Kind of Search

ABCnews.com has this neat article on a possible new type of search engine based on file swapping software.
\" The loose group of open-source programmers responsible for the controversial Gnutella file-swapping software have turned their technology into what they say is a powerful new Web search tool.\"

Old and New Clash at Search Engine Conference

Chris Sherman describes the whirlwind proceedings at the Fifth Annual Search Engine Conference at this Information Today article. He assures us that the sessions generated more heat than light.

Students really using libraries!

Cortez writes "Demonstrating the possibilties of new technology and historic records, students bring the past alive: http://www.common-place.org/vol-05/no-03/school/
"The high-school students in the extracurricular Project Apprentice to History (PATH) in Beverly, Massachusetts, are not your typical honors students, yet their achievements are extraordinary.""

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