Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The internet is well‐recognised as a rival to the traditional library, and the first choice to seek information for any purpose. If the information found is satisfactory, the searchers go no further (p. 120); and support for internet reference resources is increasing among library users (p. 196). But using such information is fraught with dangers: internet‐based information is at once abundant, useful, unfiltered, uncensored, unvalidated, propaganda, trash, unsolicited, and also misinformation. Much of the material is such unworthy publicity or propaganda that it is called the “web of misinformation and deceit”. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate should be the watchword (p. 397) for all internet users. But much of the internet's content is still valid, highly useful, and readily accessible. Lack of organisation on the internet or web search engines makes it difficult and time‐consuming to obtain authentic and relevant information. Search engines simply inundate the seeker with an avalanche of web sites leading to information overload and consequent stress. It is rightly said that finding information on the internet is easy, but finding quality information less so.
There is more than enough high quality information available through the internet if we know how to locate it correctly. Therefore, we require guides to identify and describe the genuine web sites in every academic discipline. It is now so difficult to keep track of all the internet resources, even in a very specialized area. that dependable guides are more necessary than ever. The book under review is one such welcome source – a descriptive and critical webliographic essay. There are 25 chapters plus the editor's introduction. Each chapter lists, describes and evaluates some of the best and most authentic resources on the web. It thus offers an evaluative webliography in different and diverse fields of arts, literature, social sciences, history, area and gender studies, law, tourism, career information, psychology, health and medicine, agriculture, engineering, environment and many more. Comprehensive overviews of the key information resources, both open and proprietary, in these subjects and disciplines are given. These essays are value‐added with interactive mapping. Contributers are experts who have reviewed websites, metasites, indexing and abstracting services, directories, portals, databases and blogs. This makes it a wide‐ranging and comprehensive guide for reference librarians, novice and advanced web users, and classroom teaching of internet resources.
As of the date of this review, the content is still very up to date, but one must wonder why such a publication was not made available as an e‐book on the web, or as a web site itself so that changes could be incorporated as they occur.