To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Internet: the ultimate reference tool?

Brendan Devlin (Professionally qualified librarian working at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Mountjoy Square, Dublin, Ireland)
Mary Burke (Senior lecturer and head of the Department of Library and Information Studies, University College Dublin, Ireland)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 1 June 1997


Analyzes the Internet as a reference tool based on its ability to provide rapid access to authoritative information or sources of information. Reveals that the Internet provides no comprehensive mechanism for identifying quality information. Bibliographic structure is also disparate, making it impossible to adopt a coherent strategy for identifying quality information. A unified service interface would help alleviate this problem. An analysis of the use of the Internet by academic librarians reveals that existing bibliographic structure is not used to best advantage. Simple strategies which would limit these deficiencies, such as the use of electronic mail, are not used. Suitable training, from an introductory to advanced level, would alleviate this problem. Suggests the use of an amended version of Benson’s decision tree as a pedagogical tool. This model would help to decide when to use the Internet and suggest search paths for different question types.



Devlin, B. and Burke, M. (1997), "Internet: the ultimate reference tool?", Internet Research, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 101-108.




Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited