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These sites we commonly refer to as anchor points in our design process. This enables us to easily keep up with web technology developments and measure our design and analysis processes alonngside general web trends. We continually add and refine this list so that our designs stays fresh and competive.

AltaVistas Babel Fish
Overture Services, Inc.

Inspired  by the Douglas Adams' book, The  Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, this site from  AltaVista will translate individual words, short  paragraphs (up to 150 words), or  whole web pages between  various languages. In addition to  the Western  European languages, the site  also translates  Russian, Chinese,  Japanese, and Korean. A special  virtual keyboard allows  users to type accented  or Russian characters. The  program translates each word individually, which  may create unusual looking syntax and  grammar. The Help page  warns about translation errors, particularly  if the original material contains slang or  poor grammar. While the  results are by no means perfect, the site  may be  useful in providing a general idea of the subject matter of short passages  or a web page.

Answers
GuruNet Corporation

Answers.com  is a search engine that searches and cross-indexes online research tools. Its  100 plus resources include  The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Merriam Webster's  Dictionary, Who2, and Wikipedia. Answers.com displays the full  result of your search on one page, unlike general search  engines such  as Google or Yahoo, which may produce many pages  of results.  The creators' goal is to  "provide a topic based snapshot answer  rather than thousands of pages that contain your word." Answers.com  can be a very useful resource for those looking  for a fast succinct answer about a topic.

ConsumerSearch
ConsumerSearch, Inc.

ConsumerSearch aims  to be the starting  place for consumers researching top-rated  products in 13 categories including  Photo & Video, Health & Fitness, Computers,  Automotive, and Sports & Leisure. The site employs over 50 researchers who identify  and rank product reviews based on their currency, credibility, testing methodology, and  the reviewer's qualifications. Results are presented in an easy-to-use format  highlighting links to the best-rated  reviews and  products. The "Fast Answers"  page summarizes the research  about each of the top rated products and provides links to "The Full Story" for additional  background and price information. Links are also provided to ConsumerSearch's  ranking of all reviews of the product  and to sites offering the product for sale. This is an  excellent resource for those trying to locate and evaluate  product review information  on the Internet.

Digital History

This is  an extensive and well-organized site featuring "high-quality  historical resources for  teachers and students for free and without  advertising," a feat accomplished  through partnerships with a variety  of museums and archives. In addition to primary-source  material, including  multimedia, the site, which is presented  in the form of  a digital textbook, features resources such  as an interactive  timeline of History from  1590-present, subject guides, handouts, and lesson  plans. Users are  also invited to direct questions  to the "Hyperhistorian,"  Steven Mintz, John and  Rebecca  Moores Professor of History at the University of Houston.  The archives of these  queries and answers are accessible as  well. This site will be  especially useful for high school and post-secondary level history  instructors and students.

DOAJ: Directory of  Open Access Journals

The DOAJ is a  pan-disciplinary and lingual resource  that allows users to identify and search  free, full text, quality controlled  open-access scientific and scholarly journals.  At the time of this review, DOAJ included 1611 journals, 405 of which are searchable at the article level. In addition to offering search and browse capabilities  by article or journal title, the DOAJ indexes journals by seventeen broad  subject headings which can then be expanded into more specific subject listings.  Each journal-level record includes the ISSN, publisher, start year, and language.  As Open Access publishing becomes  increasingly viable for scholarly  communication, the DOAJ offers librarians and  researchers a much needed high-quality tool to help them locate and  access this material.

Download.com

Download.com  provides free downloads of a  collection of more than 30,000 free and  trial-version programs, including  utilities, music, and games. Download.com is published by  CNET, an interactive content company. Users of Windows  and MacIntosh computers, as well as handheld devices,  can read reviews and  rankings by CNET and by other users. CNET  rates the software on the quality  of its user interface, features, and download  as well as the program's  functionality and stability. Software  with adware is allowed but identified. Although there  are a number of advertisements on the site, Download.com  provides a single, easy-to-use source  of utility and other software  for the home and  business user.

GrayLit Network: A Science Portal of Technical Reports
Department of Energy's  Office of Scientific and  Technical Information (OSTI)

As described  on the "About this Site" page, the GrayLIT  Network "is a portal for technical report information generated  through federally funded research and  development projects."  Such "grey" literature, although prolific and of great scientific value, is  generally not distributed through conventional publication  channels. The GrayLit Network allows patrons to search  multiple government databases  to retrieve this elusive scientific information.  Among the indexed  agencies are  Department of Energy (DOE),  Department of Defense (DOD),  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and National Aeronautics and  Space Administration (NASA). Search results are based on searches of bibliographic  records for some databases and  full text searching ofothers depending on  the search capabilities of the  individual sites. However, the full text of all  reports is available, making this  an excellent resource for researchers needing this specialized  information.

Modern Language Association Language Map

Modern Language Association

The Modern  Language Association used responses to the 2000  Census question "Does  this person speak a language other than English  at home?" to create maps  and tables for the number of people speaking  one of thirty languages plus  seven less commonly spoken groups of  languages in the United States.  Results can be viewed as color-coded maps  by Mainland United States, state,  county, or zip code; or in table form  by entire United States, state,  county, zip code, metropolitan area, or town.  Directions for creating maps  or tables are clear. For students, teachers  and others looking for the number  of native speakers of languages (including  English) in the United States as  well as for areas where the greatest  number of people speaking each language l ive, this easily used site is an  excellent resource.

NationMaster.com
NationMaster.com; Luke Metcalfe,  Manager / Developer

As  described on the site, "NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from such  sources as the CIA World Factbook, United Nations, World  Health Organization,  World Bank, World Resources Institute, UNESCO,  UNICEF and OECD" and  a "handy way to graphically compare nations." By  using the available  forms, the user "can generate maps and graphs on  all kinds of statistics." This site aims "to be the web's one-stop resource for country statistics  on anything and everything, whether it be soldiers,  Olympic medals, tourists,  English speakers or wall plug voltages. "Integrated  into these is a full encyclopedia  with over 200,000 articles." Aside from the Google ads at the top of each page,  the data and graphs are  informative and compelling.

New York Times Article Archives 1851-1995
The New York  Times Company; hosted by ProQuest Archiver

Made available by the  New York Times in cooperation with ProQuest Archiver, this site indexes over  15 million articles published in the New York  Times from September 1851 to  December 1995. Users can search for specific  articles by keyword or phrase,  author, headline, date, or date range.  Searches may be limited to  articles only or broadened to include advertisements and other listings.  The full-text of articles, including accompanying photographs, graphs,  and/or tables, may be purchased from ProQuest Archiver in  PDF format  for $2.95 per article or in 4 ,10, and 25 article packs.  The site is well designed  and easy to use. The New York Times Article  Archives site is a wonderful resource  for students, researchers, and the  general public.

The Official Academy Awards®  Database
Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

The  Academy Awards® Database is a one-stop source of information  about the  Academy Awards. Intended for all users, the database contains  a plethora of  information from the first Academy Awards® in 1927/28 to  the present. Users  can search one of three search screens: Basic, Advanced and Statistical. The Basic screen allows searching by film title,  nominee, over 40 award  categories, song title, winners only, and award year.  The results can be displayed  in either chronological or alphabetical order. The  Advanced screen allows Boolean  searching and contains additional searchable fields. The currently updated award statistics page is organized by subject  category. Before the current  year's Oscar® winners are announced, the  web site provides a link to  Oscar®.com where current year nominees  in all categories are listed.

OFFSTATS: Official Statistics on the  Web
Rainer Wolcke, University of Auckland Library

OFFSTATS  is a meta site that pulls together links to official  statistics from countries,  government agencies and intergovernmental  organizations. This web  resource is easy to navigate through pull down  menus on its clean and sparse  main page. Statistics can be found by country,  region or topic. Links to sources  are clearly displayed. Topic links also note  the source of the statistics.  The topic categories are especially useful for  quickly finding statistics that  compare countries and regions in areas such  as environment, health, social indicators  and dozens of other categories.

SCORE: Counselors to Small Business

As  described on the home page, SCORE is a "nonprofit association  dedicated to  entrepreneurial education and the formation, growth and  success of small businesses  nationwide." This website provides expertise from retired business  people nationwide who provide counseling and  advice to people just getting started in opening their first business, or who are  having trouble with a particular problem.  The website has indexed relevant  websites in various areas related to small  business, and provides on-site assistance for questions. For questions,  a person can search by keyword,  pick out a counselor based on  expertise or location and get an answer  within 48 hours. Another excellent  feature is the business toolbox that contains business financing guides,  sample business plans and templates.  SCORE is an excellent resource for  people starting a business who wish to network  with other small business owners.

TechEncyclopedia

Offered by  the TechWeb Network, a technology news firm providing original and  aggregated news content on the IT industry, TechEncyclopedia  provides definitions for over  20,000 information technology terms. Entries  range from a brief definition to  substantive background articles, many of which  are credited to the Computer  Desktop Encyclopedia. For anyone looking  for a definition and/or  background on an IT term ranging from  the history of the Internet to the exact meaning of  terms such as  peripherals, mainframe, gigabyte, ultracard,  or scsi, TechEncyclopedia is a highly useful resource.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia  is a free, web-based encyclopedia edited by its readers.  Each of its over one  million articles may be edited, corrected, or updated by  anyone in the world.  Readers are encouraged to correct spelling, fix grammatical errors, check the  accuracy of information, translate articles into  one of over 150 languages  available on the site, and update biographical  information. The site's aim is to  "create a world in which every single  person on the planet is given free access  to the sum of all human knowledge." The obvious drawback to this site is the  potential for erroneous information. The site's creators rely on the popularity of the  Internet to help maintain the  information's integrity. Wikipedia also provides  current information available with  news feeds from various news sources.