Research-Useful Web Sites

An ugly, fast-loading, minimalist web page which contains useful links compiled by Jim Connolly. Revised 12-May-2004. Please direct comments, praise and feedback to connolly@unm.edu. (Link to EPS Home Page.) It has gotten big so there is now an index:


Search Tools (for Keyword Searches)

Google
Google is king of search pages. It uses very sophisticated technology to index and search the web and grades "hits" based on how often the pages are indexed on other pages. Google has beaten most of its competition into oblivion, but it frequently misses good information located in more obscure sources. For a page to appear, it must contain ALL the words entered in your search. Unlike some search engines that show advertising pretending to be search results, Google always differentiates the ads (on the right) from the search results (on the left). In general, use Google first, but be aware of it's "popularity contest" nature and be willing to dig deeper with some others to see what you can come up with.
Ask Jeeves
Ask Jeeves (or just plain Ask) excels at answering queries entered as questions -- something that Google does not do very well at all. If you've go a specific question you want answered, try Jeeves.
All the Web
Popular search engine has a few useful features including algorithms for bad spellers (it searches a variety of spellings when a word is misspelled or there are common spelling variations) and allows boolean (AND, OR, NOT) searches on its advanced search page.
Lycos and HotBot
Lycos is one of the original search engines. Hot Bot was the best for a while. They are now associated. Lycos searches only the web which it indexes quite well. HotBot also works, and allows you to narrow your search to particular file types (i.e., just graphics, etc.).
MSN Search
Okay so Microsoft wants to run the world. Their flagship MSN search page is actually pretty good and contains indexed resources for browsing (like Yahoo) and fast general searches. The advanced search page contains very sophisticated filtering of results including word stemming, domain restrictions, and file type restrictions.
Yahoo!
Yahoo started as a subject index has become the web's megalopolis of services and information, and their resource listings are still enormous. There are links to everything, and lots of free or low budget services including Email and online calendars.

Online Reference Tools (for Topic Searches)

refdesk.com
Refdesk is a very busy text-based site with banner ads and lots of text-based links, but it is an excellent resource to point you in the direction of sites that can answer your questions. It includes a Google link for web searches, links most of the worlds news sources, government and non-government reference sources, yellow and white pages, encyclopedias, dictionaries -- in short, just about everything.
Martindale's Reference Desk
For 10 years Jim Martindale has been compiling and indexing web sorces of information and this site is the result. An amazing assortment of research-useful sites of all sorts indexed by subject. Cannot be searched directly, but an advanced Google search restricted martindalecenter.com will let you search the indexes. A new and extensive medical resource is now included.
Educator's Reference Desk
Resources for teachers organized by librarians has a lot of lot of useful material in its indexes. May be searched by keyword from the home page.
The Open Directory Project
The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors. Affiliated with Netscape and crawled by virtually every search engine out there, it is a huge project maintained by volunteers and very useful in finding sites with information organized by subject.

Some Federal Government Resources

Library of Congress Homepage
Jumping-off point to the LOC's massive base of resources including access to the Thomas library of legislative information, and a host of other useful stuff.
U.S. Government Printing Office
To find anything published by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) either electronically or on paper, including Congressional Record, Economic Indicators, the Federal Register and lots more. If you're just looking for documents, the UNM General Library's Government Info Page may be more useful, and since UNM is a repository library, most documents may be found there also.
NTIS Fedworld Homepage
Fedworld is designed to provide access to a wide variety of government documents (which are frequently hard to find), and attempts to provide access to other Web-based governement resources (with a varying degree of success). Useful, but can be difficult to get it to yield the desired results.

Finding the Hard to Find

The Invisible Web Directory
This is a companion page to the book (of the same name) by Chris Sherman and Gary Price. It specializes in sites with high-quality information that, for some reason, are seldom indexed by the major web search engines. This is a site that should be checked by anyone attempting to to throrough research on the Web.
Research Buzz
From the creator: "ResearchBuzz is designed to cover the world of Internet research. To that end this site provides almost daily updates on search engines, new data managing software, browser technology, large compendiums of information, Web directories -- whatever. If in doubt, the final question is, "Would a reference librarian find it useful?" If the answer's yes, in it goes!". Your author's comment: A bit geeky, but can be very useful.
Librarian's Index to the Internet
From the site: "The LII Mission Statement: The mission of Librarians' Index to the Internet is to provide a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy, librarian-selected Internet resources, serving California, the nation, and the world." The motto is "Information You Can Trust" and the goal is to provide an indexed resource of sites that provide quality information for research.

UNM Library Services

University of New Mexico Libraries Online
This is the main home page of all of UNM's library resources (General, Science and Engineering, Parrish Business, Fine Arts, Law, and Health Sciences). It provides access to UNM's "card catalog" (now totally electronic), online Journals to which UNM has subscriptions, and lots of other resources. The library puts a lot of energy into keeping these resources up-to-date and making them as easy to use and access as possible. While much is available to the general public, some resources are restricted to registered UNM students, faculty and staff (requiring a UNM NetID) and some require connections from computers on the UNM campus.
Centennial Science & Engineering Library
CSEL is the main library for Scientists and Engineers and this is a very well done sub-site of the main UNM online library site.
Earth & Planetary Sciences at CSEL
A sub-site of CSEL, this is an excellent Earth and Planetary Sciences research resource. Scroll down the page for lots of links to non-UNM resources.