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April/May 2006 Web News

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Favorite Web Sites: Computer/Technology Information

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.

The well-organized CNET site is all about technology. Essentially, it provides the average computer user with an edge in keeping on top of computer and computer-related technology. CNET contains extensive reviews of new hardware and software products, a list of Internet Service Providers (with a review of each), tech news and tech stock information for investors, free software downloads, web development tips for beginners and experts, and a help and how-to page. This site is easy to navigate and packed with practical information. Every computer owner could benefit from having bookmarked. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee) provides free downloads of a collection of more than 30,000 free and trial-version programs, including utilities, music, and games. 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, provides a single, easy-to-use source of utility and other software for the home and business user. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

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. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

This Web site advertises itself as the "only online dictionary and search engine you need for computer and Internet technology." The Webopedia is more than a dictionary; it is really similar to a concise encyclopedia. In addition to a searchable database of terms, there are short articles on topics such as "The Science of Color," found under the "Did You Know" link on the home page. A
"Term of the Day" feature, which can be sent to your e-mail address, and a list of the "Top 15 Terms" provide starting points for the casual browser. One banner ad at the top of each page hardly detracts from the site's extensive content. Webopedia offers an easy way to keep up with ever-changing computer terminology.  (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

Locate Thousands of Full-Text Dissertations Through Proquest Digital Dissertations

Provided by a CIC member library subscription, Proquest Digital Dissertations database offers access to over 600,000 dissertations found in Dissertation Abstracts. Citations are available for dissertations published since 1861 and detailed abstracts provided for dissertations produced since July 1980. Most importantly, titles written since 1997 can be accessed and downloaded in PDF format. Users can also preview the first 24 pages of these documents online.

To access Digital Dissertations, IU Northwest students, faculty and staff ONLY can go to the IU Northwest Library's Electronic Information Page and select the Library Databases link. At the next screen, click on  Digital Dissertations (Dissertation Abstracts ) to begin searching the database.

Criminal Justice Abstracts Now Available on Cambridge Scientific Abstracts

The IU Northwest Library recently added Criminal Justice Abstracts to its Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA Illumina) subscription. Produced by SAGE Publications,  Criminal Justice Abstracts contains over 86,000 records on criminology and related disciplines. Subjects covered include:

  • Adult Corrections
  • Courts and Legal Process
  • Crime, the Offender and the Victim
  • Crime Prevention and Control Strategies
  • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
  • Police
  • Social Work
  • Substance Abuse

Updated quarterly, the database features comprehensive coverage of journals, books, reports and dissertations from 1968 to the present. The IU Northwest Campus community ONLY can search Criminal Justice Abstracts by going to the IU Northwest Library Databases Page and selecting the Criminal Justice Abstracts link.




, Library News Web Editor