Web searching: quality not quantity?

Interested to note the development of Intute

This is the pitch:

Intute is a free online service providing access to the very best web resources for education and research. All material is evaluated and selected by a network of subject specialists to create the Intute database. With millions of resources available on the Internet, it is difficult to find relevant and appropriate material even if you have good search skills and use advanced search engines. Issues of trust, quality, and search skills are very real and significant concerns – particularly in a learning context. Academics, teachers, students and researchers are faced with a complex environment, with different routes into numerous different resources, different user interfaces, search mechanisms and authentication processes.

So far so good.

intute

The Intute database makes it possible to discover the best and most relevant resources in one easily accessible place. You can explore and discover trusted information, assured that it has been evaluated by specialists for its quality and relevance. This is where the Intute database comes into its own. It allows access to both subject-specific and cross-subject resources, all of which have been evaluated for their quality and relevance. Our mission is simple – Intute exists to advance education and research by promoting the best of the Web in one easily accessible place, providing access to quality resources through a process of evaluation and collaboration.

Better still. This sounds genuinely exciting.

And I really do hope it works out. I do hope the core academic areas are better in terms of their quality and relevance than the first section I looked in, namely Higher Education. A few of the 125 references were new to me and some of them were absolutely solid and sensible. But the inclusion, for example, of a five year old speech by the VC of Buckingham (and the only VC contribution in here) just seems bizarre. Likewise the inclusion of Million+ (what was CMU, ie university pressure group) but not the other groups, seems odd (perhaps because it has called itself a ‘think tank’?).

Early days though and sure it will get better with time and user comment. Let’s hope it takes off.

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