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Deep Indexing added to selected databases

The Melting World of Penguins

 
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Criteria for CSA's Selected Web Sites

 
 
The Internet is a valuable, rapidly evolving source of the latest results of academic, scientific, and technical research and innovation. The wealth of information contained in many Internet web sites is available nowhere else. It is virtually obligatory for researchers to scour the Internet for the most up-to-date supplementary material, in addition to collecting information from traditional sources.

To keep our customers current with this explosion of information, CSA has added a new feature to complement its already highly popular and heavily-used CSA Illumina. Our databases of Selected Web Sites are collections of high-quality web sites that cover a broad base of scientific and technical topics.

Topics covered by these databases are:
Natural Sciences, including biomedical, environmental, and aquatic sciences
Materials Science
Computer Technology
Social Sciences, including linguistics
Arts & Humanities
(coming soon) Aerospace

Our editors work hard to select the best web sites available. We have researched academic, governmental, scientific and technical web resources, selected the most useful portions of the web sites, and indexed them to compile our rapidly growing databases. All links are checked monthly to ensure that every URL is current. We average a phenomenal rate of less than 2% dead links.

The high quality of the databases is underpinned by the expertise and sound judgement of CSA's editorial staff, a team with vast experience and diverse educational backgrounds. All CSA editors have BS/BA degrees; many also hold MS/MA and/or Ph.D. degrees. Our editors hold degrees in Anthropology, Biophysics, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Biology, French, Genetics, Geology, Linguistics, Marine Affairs, Marine Ecology, Materials Science, Mathematics, Microbiology, Oceanography, Physiology, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

We follow a set of specific criteria to determine whether a web site is worthy of inclusion in our databases. The most important criterion is web site origin; we accept only web sites from reputable sources such as government agencies, colleges or universities, professional organizations, or corporations. We include a few home pages of qualified individuals based on the value of the information presented within the site. If we cannot verify the source of a web page, we do not include it in our database.

We avoid sites with an obvious political agenda, particularly when evaluating web sites that deal with environmental issues, which can provoke strong opinions from special interest groups. Web sites posted by these people and groups have no place in our Selected Web Sites database. However, due to the nature of the sociological sciences, which include various controversial subjects, the Social Sciences database includes some sites from unusual or controversial sources.

Timeliness and staying power are also important features of a web site database. Our customers require access to sites that are both current and permanent. We run an error program monthly that scans our entire database for "deadlinks" with changed URLs or missing sites. We correct these errors by hand in order to keep our total number of deadlinks to a minimum. We also avoid indexing sites that are ephemeral, such as press releases, news reports, and course syllabi from college professors.

We try to avoid selecting the home pages of very large sites, because we want our users to have access to information directly related to their searches. Instead, we index pertinent subpages that will be of more direct value to our customers.

We also do not include the following types of sites in our databases:
1. Journal abstracts and papers, dissertations, and conference proceedings
2. Pages from individual college professors or laboratories
These types of sites are often no more than a single paragraph summarizing current research. However, we make an exception for professors' sites that present very good and useful data.
3. Web sites that are simply catalogs of other web sites
We want to take our customers directly to the web site of interest in a single click. Providing a link to a web site that is nothing more than a list of other web sites defeats this purpose.
4. Upcoming conferences and meetings
This is time-dependent information.
5. MSDSs, protein sequences, and gene sequence database search results.
Many such searches are generated on-the-fly and do not have permanent URLs. This information is readily available outside of our databases.
6. News groups or chat groups
Content at these web sites is generally limited to discussions and expressions of opinion. There is usually minimal or no presentation of important scientific topics.

A typical record from our Selected Web Sites is displayed first in abbreviated form.

(graphic of WRD record: 81312)
Record 1 of 250 View Record
TI: The Morphology and Anatomy of Fossil Plants
RL: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/IB181/VPL/Ana/Ana1.html

Clicking on the URL will take a user directly to the page, which remains in frame to allow easy navigation back to other search results. Clicking on the View Record option allows users to see more information about that particular page to enable them to decide whether it is useful for their research.

Record 1 of 250
TI: Title
The Morphology and Anatomy of Fossil Plants
RL: Resource Location
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/IB181/VPL/Ana/Ana1.html
IP: Information Provider
Museum of Paleontology, University of California, 1101 Valley Life Sciences
Building, Berkeley, CA 94720-4780, USA
DE: Descriptors
origin of life, fossil plants, parenchyma cells, collenchyma cells, sclerenchyma cells,
xylem, phloem, hydroids, homology
LA: Language
English
AN: Accession Number
081312

This format shows users the source of the information-in this case, a museum affiliated with the University of California-, the keywords that are relevant to this particular web site-each is a hyperlink to a new search that will recall all the records with that keyword-, and the languages in which the web site appears.

A user can select a set of records and either e-mail them or save them to his/her own home directory.