Tom's Subject Directory & City Building Fan Site

Search a Section of this site or the Entire Site
site search by freefind
Safe Surf image

City Building Fan Site Links























Top



















Top



















Top

About This Site


This site is an annotated subject directory. Definitions are listed below from different sources across the web. Over the years the subject directory has been called by different names which are listed here. Also residing on the site is a City Building Fan Site (section) which I have devoted to Children of the Nile, CivCity: Rome and SimCity and is accessible from the left column.


The Navigation Bar above and on every page of this site

The Nav Bar gives you access to every page of the Subject Directory. It may be considered as a sitemap for the Subject Directory. The left pane is also used as a navigation aid for the directory, fan site, and items of interest for a particular subject.

 

Definitions

Because people are more familiar with the term "Search Engine" and it's easier to understand what is being talked about when the term "search engine" comes up in casual conversation, directories are often referred to incorrectly as search engines.

Subject Directory - an hierarchical grouping of related subject headings. The tree structure shows relationships between subject headings. They can be found either inside a database or separate from a data base.

Subject Directory - An Internet research tool on the World Wide Web that organizes Internet resources by subject headings and subheadings. Subject directories are usually compiled by human beings who apply some selection criteria to resources included in the database.

Subject Tree - The subject tree is the hierarchical list of categories used to organize information. It is like the index in a book or a card catalog in a library. With a subject tree, you can quickly find and access information about products, cases, sales literature, and knowledge base articles.

Wikipedia's Tree structure
A tree structure is a way of representing the hierarchical nature of a structure in a graphical form. It is named a "tree structure" because the classic representation resembles a tree, even though the chart is generally upside down compared to an actual tree, with the "root" at the top and the "leaves" at the bottom.

Different Names for the Same Meaning

Subject Guides;

at one time this was a kind of map to the resources of the library; it is an information locator for the library user whose search for recorded materials on a subject of interest is just beginning.

Academic Subject Directories; Also called virtual libraries, library gateways or clearinghouses

What is a Subject Directory

Subject directories are lists of Web sites organized by subject. Universities, libraries, organizations, and even volunteers have created these directories to catalog portions of the Web. The major subject directories tend to have overlapping but different content. Most directories provide a search capability.

When to use directories? Directories are useful for general topics, for topics that you don't know much about, for the value of human-selected content, for in-depth research, and for browsing.

Directories are not as popular as they once were. Search engines are a much more dominant tool for finding Web content. Still, directories have their place in a research strategy.

Search engines maintain a database or databases while most directories do not. Directories point to a page instead of storing it. This can cause problems if the content of the page changes or the page no longer exists (404 error)

Two Types

There are two basic types of directories:  Academic and Commercial.

Academic and Professional

Academic and professional directories are often created and maintained by subject experts to support the needs of researchers. Keep in mind that some directories are the result of many years of intellectual effort. For this reason, it can be helpful to consult subject directories when doing serious research on the Web. INFOMINE (After 20 years of serving the academic and research community, the University of California Riverside Library ended the INFOMINE service on December 15, 2014. ), from the University of California, is a good example of an academic directory.

Commercial


Directories featured on commercial portals that cater to the general public and are competing for traffic. The Yahoo! Directory was an example of a directory that is part of a famous commercial portal.

Subject directories differ significantly in selectivity. For example, the editors of the Yahoo! directory do not carefully evaluate user-submitted content when adding Web pages to their database. It is therefore NOT a reliable research source and should not be used for this purpose. In contrast, the INFOMINE editors select only those sources considered useful to the academic and research community. Consider the policies of any directory that you visit. One challenge to this is the fact that not all directory services are willing to disclose either their policies or the names and qualifications of site reviewers.

Note about Yahoo: "Yahoo unceremoniously announced the end in a September blog post entitled "Progress Report: Continued Product Focus." The post said Yahoo would "retire" the directory on Dec. 31, 2014." (CNNMoney (New York) December 29, 2014: 12:03 PM ET )1 In the early days, Yahoo's directory was the most common way to find information on the Internet.



How They Work



Subject directories differ significantly in selectivity. For example, the editors of the Yahoo! directory do not carefully evaluate user-submitted content when adding Web pages to their database. It is therefore NOT a reliable research source and should not be used for this purpose. In contrast, the INFOMINE editors select only those sources considered useful to the academic and research community. Consider the policies of any directory that you visit. One challenge to this is the fact that not all directory services are willing to disclose either their policies or the names and qualifications of site reviewers.


To find a subject directory, look for your subject as you would for any other purpose, and keep your eyes open for sites that look like directories. Read through the descriptions. Sometimes these resources are identified as "Directories, "Virtual Libraries," or "Gateway Pages." This directory will list directories as a seprate heading on the subject page.


Subject directories group web sites into subject categories and sub-categories which you can browse to find links to web sites of interest.


A search engine consists of a large database created automatically by a "robot" that travels the 'net on a regular basis.


When to use a subject directory....

Browsing or searching a subject directory provides an effective alternative to using search engines when researching broad topics. Search engines would retrieve an unmanageable number of results in a search on a broad topic. Directories, because they include fewer items, will generally yield fewer items.



When to use a search engine....

Search engines can be more effective when searching narrow topics. Because search engines include many web pages in their databases, they are more effective when looking for very narrow topics or for specific people, organizations, etc.




Works Sited



        1. Rooney, Ben. "Internet Icon Dies as Yahoo Directory Goes Dark." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 29 Dec. 2014. Accessed Web. 20 Mar. 2015. < http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/29/technology/yahoo-directory/ >