Essential WWW Resources for South East Asian Studies:
an annotated shortlist

Dr T. Matthew Ciolek,
Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies,
Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia

[ Data listed below were used in a paper "Taming the Internet Wilderness: Collaborative Strategies for the Southeast Asian Scholarly Networks", prepared for "Colloquium on Academic Library Information Resources for Southeast Asian Scholarship", University of Malaya Library, Kuala Lumpur, 3 - 5 November 1997

Document created: 30 Oct 1997. Last revised: 30 Oct 1997 ]


This paper list materials dervived from the so-called 'October Sample'.

This name refers to results of a statistical analysis of content, provenance, usefulness and other characterstics of a sample of scholarly or factual online information resources relevant to the South East Asian studies. A set of 270 web-sites has been extracted between the 23-26 October 1997 from a population of 3247 English language online documents known at the time of inquiry to the Altavista database (Digital Corporation, 1997). This relatively large population of potential links was generatedthrough a query containing the string 'South East Asian Studies'. Altavista is the worldıs largest database of WWW links and in September 1997 carried information about 31 mln hypertext documents residing on 627,000 web-servers (Ciolek 1997).

The 'October Sample' was arrived at through the quick weeding-out from the list of 3247 web links any materials which appeared to be (i) duplicates of their other online copies, (ii) nonexistent, (iii) irrelevant to South East Asia studies, (iv) irrelevant to social studies research, (v) personal pages, (vi) useless (= devoid of factual information, stupid, misnamed, outrageous, bizarre, scatological or childish), and finally, (vii) inaccessible (= the server would not respond at the time of the attempted). Details of each of the selected resources from the 'October Sample' were entered into a small database running on a PC. This, in turn, expedited the necessary tabulations and cross-tabulations.

The final sample of 270 documents, or 8.3% of the initial population of 'South East Asian Studies' web links is, in fact, an outcome of a compromise between the need to finish the data collection before an inflexible deadline and the need to make the sample as large and as diverse as possible. In other words, the 'October Sample' data may be interesting but they do not come from a systematic and comprehensive census.

Networked information resources from the 'October Sample' wre ranked on a 5 point scale [Essential - V.Useful - Useful-Interesting - Marginal]. This ranking is done in solely terms of the resourceıs usefulness to online research on South East Asia. To put it deffferently, the rating offered in this document does not apply to the intellectual worthiness of a producer or publisher of a given resource, nor to the informational quality of the resource itself - but exclusively to the usefulness of a resource in question to the online studies of the South East Asian region and countries.

This point is best illustrated by a hypothetical example of a large, coherent and up-to-date online database dealing with data from China, Macao and Hong Kong, with a sparkling of materials dealing with Singapore. Such database would rated, for the purposes of this article, as a Marginal resource. Conversely, a large, well organised and up-to-date online database or an archive with data from Singapore and Malaysia, one which also includes some data on Hong Kong and Taiwan would be considered here as an research tool which is Essential to South East Asian online scholarship.

For a detailed discussion of methodological issues involved in evaluation of Internet resources and in those of information quality in general please consult Smith (1997) and Ciolek (1996).

Below are listed the ESSENTIAL online resoures, that is ones which were found to be of special relevance and value to the scholarly work on South East Asia and its countries:


The great volatility of online information means that some of the URLs listed below may change by the time this article is printed. For current pointers please consult the online copy of this paper listed at the pages of the 'Asia Web Watch: a Register of Statistical Data'

Site Meter
visitors to since 08 May 1997.

Maintainer: Dr T.Matthew Ciolek (

Copyright (c) 1997 by T.Matthew Ciolek. All rights reserved. This Web page may be freely linked to other Web pages. Contents may not be republished, altered or plagiarized.


[ Asian Studies WWW VL ] [ ] [ Buddhist Studies WWW VL ]