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January 2002 Web News
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Favorite Web Sites: Online Dictionaries

The web sites featured this month have been critically evaluated and selected by the IU Northwest librarians as well as a group of academic and public librarians across the United States who compile a yearly Best Free Reference Web Sites List  for the American Library Association. Here is a list of selection criteria initially created by the MARS Best Free Websites Task Force to choose these sites. The Library hopes our readers will find these web sites useful for locating reliable, accurate and authoritative information on the Internet. Wordsmyth meshes the functions of a dictionary and a thesaurus with powerful and flexible search capabilities. This database is designed to work the way people think. A spell-like button makes it easy to look up words even if you aren't sure how they are spelled. The simple search mode offers quick and easy lookups, while the advanced mode allows the user to specify which fields will be displayed in the results. An interactive result page is returned including lists of synonyms for which definitions are just a click away. Example sentences and phrases and indicators of context and grammar are included. This excellent dictionary-thesaurus tool will allow those who utilize it to express their ideas more concisely. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee) " provides the most comprehensive and authoritative portal for language [and] language-related products and services on the web with more than 1800 dictionaries with more than 250 languages." An Advisory Council of Experts provides "guidance in the development, acquisition, and maintenance of the dictionaries." The Endangered Language Repository section has been created to highlight world efforts to preserve many languages and dialects that are threatened with extinction. This site aims to "provide ways of building vocabularies, studying grammar, practicing spoken and written languages," "provide scientific information about language as well as various forms of language play designed to build language skills," and meet any linguistic need. Although the home page is a little crowded, it is generally easy to use and navigate. There is a "Quick Look-up" conveniently placed at the top for searching a word either in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary or Thesaurus. with its easy-to-remember URL, should become a favorite. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee) OneLook allows for easy, quick word searches in over 600 on-line dictionaries, including general, legal and foreign dictionaries. The user can search a word in all of the dictionaries, but a warning indicates that this type of search will take longer. Options are to search for English definitions only or to choose French, Spanish, Italian or German. The dictionaries range from something as well known as Merriam-Webster's WWWebster Dictionary to specialized resources like The Cadillac Performance Dictionary,. The search results also contain links to the home page of the indexed dictionaries themselves if the user wants to further explore a particular resource. This site does indeed provide a great network of dictionary resources with "one look." (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

Hoover's Online Corporate Database Added to ABI/Inform 

Since December 2001, ProQuest(r) incorporated the Hoover's Online  corporate database into the IU Northwest Library's ABI/Inform subscription. Hoover's Online is widely recognized as a leading provider of comprehensive and up-to-date corporate information. Users have access to detailed information on over 15,000 companies by simply clicking on the specific company link either in the abstract or the ABI/Inform full-text article. The Hoover's Online database via IntelliDocs(TM) technology offers such information as the company capsule and profile, financials, competitors, key numbers and people as well as subsidiaries.

To access ABI/Inform from IU Northwest campus computers ONLY, go to the IU Northwest Library's Electronic Information Page  and select the Humanities and Social Sciences link under the Journal and Newspaper Indexes heading. At the next screen, click ABI/Inform.

, Library News Web Editor