Argus Clearing House is a virtual library dedicated to in-depth research that is peer reviewed. Academic environments and research institutions make heavy use of it. It specializes in three types of information: subject guides, reference works, and specialized databases.
Ask Jeeves, an intelligent Web search engine, is patterned after the author P. G. Wodehouses's classic English Butler, Jeeves, who knew just about everything and was able to interpret his master's needs before they were even spoken. Using Natural Programming Language (NPL) which mimics the way humans speak, Ask Jeeves allows users the ease of interacting on the Web the same way they do offline. Users pose questions in plain English and receive links to Web sites containing relevant information, services, and products. This feature of Ask Jeeves provides users the benefit of millions of previous searches. Growing smarter with each interaction, Ask Jeeves provides targeted, relevant responses to user queries. This simple, straightforward approach has made Ask Jeeves one of the most frequently visited sites on the Internet.
Google is a former student project that ended up as a commercial site. The creators of Google, former Stanford Ph.D. candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are undoubtedly very wealthy former students by now. One distinguishing feature of Google is that its rankings are partially based on how many pages link to a site and how important the pages are that reference it. Think of the links as votes in a popularity contest and the idea becomes clearer. The thinking behind this is that the more people "voting" for a site, the better it must be. Google lists only results that include the search terms, and these are shown in bold type contained in the snippets excerpted from the page to aid in gauging the relevance of the results. Google claims to cover more than one billion URLs.
One of the earliest directories to appear on the Web, Yahoo! is the precurser of all directories. Yahoo! was the brainchild of two Ph.D. candidates, David Filo and Jerry Yang. While studying electrical engineering at Stanford, they developed Yahoo! to help catalog their diverse interests among all of the information on the Internet. On Yahoo! you will find information organized into categories, providing direction and simplifying your search process. If you are looking for several online newspapers you do not need to enter each paper's name into a search engine; instead, you can enter Yahoo!'s directory of online newspapers that are categorized by state, by country, and so forth.
Paradigm Online Writing Assistant is an online writers guide and handbook useful for all writers, from inexperienced to advanced. This site focuses on informal, thesis/support, exploratory, and argumentative essays. Links to each mode of writing as well as prewriting (discovering), organizing, editing, and revising strategies allow you to concentrate on steps in the writing process where you have the most interest or need the most help. Advice is also given on Documenting Sources that can be used for any type of essay.
EB Online includes the complete Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as Mirriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary and the Britannica Book of the Year. The online encyclopedia includes photos, drawings maps, flags, and other items that readers are used to seeing in the print version. You can also use EB Online to search an Internet directory that contains 130,000 links to Web sites selected, rated, and reviewed by Britannica editors.
The mission of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) is to further "ease of access to and use of the ever-expanding body of worldwide scientific, literary and educational knowledge and information." OCLC library services are vast and meant to serve libraries and research institutions as well as students. However, students may find this site helpful whenever an international source of information is needed, for example, to research a scientific experiment or standard, undertake an in-depth study, build a prototype, or participate in a research collaboration. Interlibrary loans are available upon request and research can be conducted in many languages.