Ciolek, T. Matthew. 1996. The Six Quests for The Electronic Grail:
Current Approaches to Information Quality in WWW Resources.
"Review Informatique et Statistique
dans les Sciences humaines (RISSH)", 1996, No. 1-4.
Centre Informatique de Philosophie et Lettres,
Universite de Liege, Belgium. pp. 45-71.
The Six Quests for The Electronic Grail:
Current Approaches to Information Quality in WWW Resources
Coombs Computing Unit, Research School of Social Sciences,
20 June 1996
Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200 (Australia)
Fax: +61 (0)6 257 1893,
The paper reviews programming, procedural, structuring, bibliographical, evaluative and finally, organisational approaches to the quality of online information. Rapid progress in all these areas is essential to secure the Web as a reliable medium for scholarly publication.
electronic publishing of scholarly works, WWW, information quality
Table of Contents
- The untrustworthiness of the WWW
- The urgency of the Web repair tasks
- WWW repair - Programming approaches
- WWW repair - Procedural approaches
- WWW repair - Structuring approaches
- WWW repair - Bibliographical approaches
- WWW repair - Evaluative approaches
- WWW repair - Organisational approaches
- Concluding remarks
1. The untrustworthiness of the WWW
The untrustworthiness and mediocrity of information resources on the
World Wide Web (WWW), that most famous and most promising offspring of
the Internet, is now a well recognised problem (Ciolek 1995a,
1995, Clarke 1996). It is an inevitable conclusion to
anyone who has worked, even briefly, with the 'Information' areas of
the Web, the other two being 'Exchange' and 'Entertainment' (Siegel
The problems with the Web are many. WWW documents continue to be
largely un-attributed, undated, and un-annotated. As a rule,
information about the author and publisher is either unavailable or
incomplete. Frequently, the rationale for placing a document on line
and information about how it relates to other materials is not
explicitly stated. It has also been observed that the Web remains a
place in which far too many resource catalogues seem to chase far too
few original or non-trivial documents and data sets (Ciolek 1995a).
Simultaneously, there are no commonly accepted standards for the
presentation of online information. Instead, there is an ever-growing
proliferation of publication styles, page sizes, layouts and document
structures. Moreover, links to other Web resources tend to be
established promiscuously, that is without much thought for the
target's relevance or quality. There is also a pronounced circularity
of links. This means that many Web pages carry very little
information, apart from scantily annotated pointers to some other
equally vacuous index pages that serve no other function apart from
pointing to yet another set of inconclusive indices and catalogues
(Ciolek 1995a). Finally, emphasis continues to be placed on listing
as many hypertext links as possible - as if the reputation and
usefulness of a given online resource depends solely on the number of
Web resources it quotes. In practice this means that very few such
links can be checked and validated on a regular basis. This leads, in
turn, to the frequent occurrence of broken (stale) links.
The whole situation is further complicated by the manner in which Web
activities are managed by people whose daily activities fuel the
growth of the Web. The truth is, there is very little, if any,
systematic organisation and coordination of work on the WWW. The
project started 5 years ago by a handful of CERN programmers, has now
been changed beyond recognition. With the advent of 'Mosaic', the
first user-friendly client software (browser) in September 1993, WWW
activities have literally exploded and spread all over the globe.
Since then Web sites and Web documents continue to grow, proliferate
and transform at a tremendous rate. This growth comes as a consequence
of intensive yet un-reflective resonance and feedback between two
powerful forces, innovation and adaptation.
The first of these is a great technological inventiveness (often
coupled with an unparalleled business acumen) of many thousands of
brilliant programmers (Erickson 1996). The second consists of many
millions of daily, small scale, highly localised actions and
decisions. These are taken on an ad hoc basis by countless
administrators and maintainers of Web sites and Web pages. These
decisions are made in response to the steady flow of new technical
solutions, ideas and software products. They are also made in reaction
to the activities, tactics and strategies of nearby WWW sites.
The Web, therefore, can be said to resemble of a hall of mirrors, each
reflecting a subset of the larger configuration. It is a spectacular
place indeed, with some mirrors being more luminous, more innovative
or more sensitive to the reflected lights and imagery than others. The
result is a breathless and ever-changing 'information swamp' of
visionary solutions, pigheaded stupidity and blunders, dedication and
amateurishness, naivety as well as professionalism and chaos. In such
a vast and disorganised context, work on simple and low-content tasks,
such as hypertext catalogues of online resources, is regularly
initiated and continued at several places at once. For example, there
are at least four separate authoritative 'Home Pages' for Sri Lanka
alone (for details see Ciolek 1996b). At the same time, more complex
and more worthwhile endeavours, such as development of specialist
document archives or databases, are frequently abandoned because of
the lack of adequate manpower and funding (Miller 1996).
There is a school of thought, represented in Australia most eloquently
by T. Barry (1995), which suggests that what the Web needs is not so
much an insistence that useful and authoritative online material be
generated, but rather one that intelligent yet cost-effective
'information sieves and filters' are developed and implemented.
Here the basic assumption is that the Web behaves like a
self-organising and self-correcting entity. It is so since as the
online authors and publishers continue to learn from each other, the
overall quality of their networked activities slowly but steadily
improves. Such a spontaneous and unprompted process would suggest that
with the passage of time, all major Web difficulties and shortcomings
will eventually be resolved. The book or a learned journal as the
medium for scholarly communication - the argument goes - required
approximately 400 years to arrive at today's high standards of
presentation and content. Therefore, it would be reasonable to assume
that perhaps a fraction of that time, some 10-15 years, might be
enough to see all the current content, structural and organisational
problems of the Web diminish and disappear.
This might be so, were it not for the fact that the Web is not only a
large-scale, complex and very messy phenomenon, but also a phenomenon
which happens to grow at a very steep exponential rate.
2. The urgency of the Web repair tasks
In January 1994 there were approximately 900 WWW sites in the entire
Internet. Some 20 months later (August 1995), there were 100,000 sites
and another 10 months later (June 1996) there were an estimated
320,000 sites (Netree.com 1996). It is as if the Web was unwittingly
testifying to the veracity of both Moore's and Rutkowski's Laws.
Moore's Law proposes that electronic technologies are changing
dramatically at an average of every two years; while Rutkowski says
that in the highly dynamic environment of the Internet, fundamental
rates of change are measured in months (Rutkowski 1994a). As the
consequence, problems which are soluble now, when the Web pages can
still be counted in tens of millions of documents, will not be soluble
in the near future since the Web will be simply too massive. There is
no doubt, that the World Wide Web is running out of time. The WWW is
facing an ungraceful collapse, a melt-down into an amorphous, sluggish
and confused medium. This is a transformation which would undoubtedly
place Web's academic credibility and useability on a par with that of
countless TV stations, CB radios and USENET newsgroups.
Thus, we seem to be confronted by a curious paradox. On the one hand
the WWW appears to offer a chance (Rutkowski 1994b), the first real
chance in humanity's long history (Thomas 1995, Anderson et al 1995), for a universally accessible, 'flat' and democratic,
autonomous, polycentric, interactive network of low-cost and
ultra-fast communications and publication tools and resources. This
'people's network' is now beginning to connect individuals,
organisations and communities regardless their disparate physical
locations, time zones, national and organizational boundaries, their
peculiar cultures and individual interests. On the other hand, the
very creative processes which are responsible for bringing the
Internet and the Web into the existence simultaneously appear to
threaten it with disarray, wasteful repetition and a massive
inundation of trivia.
Structurally, this is a situation of perfectly mythological
proportions. It is closely akin to the 12th century legend of the Holy
Grail and the Knights of the Round Table (Matthews 1981). In the
legend, a great and proud realm is governed by a wise and noble king.
The king, however, is stricken down by an illness with many
psychological and physical manifestations. His ill health is not
limited to his person only, but is inextricably linked to the wilting
of all that surrounds the monarch - his faithful people are troubled
and uneasy, rare animals are declining, the trees bear no fruit and
the fountains are unable to play. The mythological parallels between
the story about the Fisher King and the current predicament of the
Internet as a whole and the malaise of its foremost ruler, the World
Wide Web, are obvious.
Throughout this paper I shall list and describe some of the major
attempts to overcome the current shortcomings of the Web. Whenever
possible I shall refer to examples drawn from the widely defined
social sciences, including Asian Studies, and the humanities. There
appear to be at least six quests for better Web information resources.
These quests have been embarked on almost simultaneously by many
people, both individually and in concert with each other. Some of
these quests are carried out as a series of short bursts of activity,
while others are part of long-term, systematic and carefully planned
research projects. They all seem to be striving to reach the same
goal, although their paths, their adventures, their difficulties and
their individual narratives may be dissimilar. They all appear to be
focused on the notion of information quality.
These quests for quality - that Grail-like object of intense
admiration and longing - that elusive but utterly essential ingredient
of all our electronic enterprises, are conducted along six partially
different, partially overlapping paths. These are: (1) programming,
(2) procedural, (3) structuring, (4) bibliographical, (5) evaluative,
and finally (6) organisational approaches to the rescue and repair of
the Web information resources.
3. WWW repair - programming approaches
The prevailing philosophy here is that once the online
publishers are given a wide range of flexible tools for
generation and manipulation of hypertext documents the Web
will, willy nilly, become a home for the expression of
complex, meaningful and elegant thoughts. This, in turn,
should provide the necessary stimulus for the widespread
acceptance of the Web as an academically acceptable tool for
scholarly (Bailey 1995) and technical publications.
The technical or software engineering approaches are
stimulated by the work of T. Berners-Lee and R. Cailliau
(creators of the original HTML language and of the original
WWW server/client software), as well as that of L. Wall
(creator of the Perl language), J. Gossling (creator of the
Java language), M. Andreessen (creator of the enhanced HTML;
designer of the contemporary business-strength server/client
WWW software), H.W. Lee and B. Bos (creators of the
Cascading Style Sheet (CSS1) mechanism) and many other,
often anonymous, people. Their programming work, carried out
on a number of simultaneous fronts (W3C 1996a), is focused
on broadening and refining functionalities and capabilities
the Web documents and their constituent parts.
One of the main areas of programming activities is concerned
with expansion and refinement of the hypertext markup
language (HTML), including handling of mathematical and
scientific equations and formulae as well as of non-latin
languages and character sets. Attention is also paid to the
future use of the Web for general SGML applications as
opposed to dummying SGML down to a simpler HTML format (W3C
1996b). Important progress has also been made on creation
of a Style Sheet Language. That language aims at separating
the HTML code, structure and content from the form and
appearance of documents. Once implemented, the Style Sheet
Language would offer a powerful and manageable way for
authors, artists and typographers to create the visual
effects (e.g. fonts, colours, spacing) they want without
sacrificing device-independence of their work or adding new
HTML tags (W3C 1996c). Another area of intensive
programming work focuses on the Platform for Internet
Content Selection (PICS). This is a software tool which
would provide content labelling, rating systems for and
access control to Web information resources. The self-rating
capability offered by PICS enables content providers to
describe and label the material they create and distribute.
Simultaneously the PICS third-party rating would permit
multiple, independent labelling services to associate
additional labels with content created and distributed by
online authors (W3C 1996d). Finally, there is intensive
work the CGI (Common Gateway Interface) and Java scripts.
These programs provide users with the means to create
data-input pages for online collection of corrections,
feedback and other reader supplied information (Barry 1996). They also permit construction of advanced interactive
graphics, data-processing, data-display, and
data-dissemination networked tools (Tessier 1996).
All these engineering approaches seem to aim at the
construction of a series of interlocking modular,
intelligent or quasi-intelligent software agents. The idea
is to use the software to organise, channel and guide
publishing and communication activities on the Web just as
roads, tunnels and railway tracks channel, guide and
safeguard the flow of wheeled vehicles. This programming
approach supposes that such channelling and guidance will
greatly reduce the scope for common errors and blunders and
that it will help to make the Web a more comfortable work
4. WWW repair - Procedural approaches
The procedural approaches commence with an assumption that people's
Web publishing activities are learnable and improvable skills. It
appears that all site administration and Web document design,
production and maintenance procedures are can be documented, analysed,
streamlined, re-organised, taught, and always improved on. An
important ingredient of this approach is a belief that through the
documentation and careful analysis of the best practices and the most
efficient ways of accomplishing a given task, one will be able to
progress from a private "realm of art, guess-work and intuition" into
the public "realm of craft, routine decision-making and logic" (cf.
Ciolek 1995a: 69).
To this end, a number of technical publications (Liu 1994) and Web
sites have sprung up, featuring electronic collections of operating
procedures, manuals, templates and 'cookbooks' as well as ample
discussion of the Network ethics and Netiquette.
Firstly there are procedures, or sets of instructions, documenting
step by step, sequences of minor tasks leading to a successful
completion of major task or activity. Details of complex interactions
between the maintainers of a given site, the subtle characteristics of
the electronic information they manipulate, as well as their
understanding of Web behaviour and structure all need to be recorded
and accounted for. Moreover, whether this constitutes a minor or major
task depends entirely on the degree of precision with which 'a fractal
edge of praxis' is to be handled. As our knowledge of Web operations
grows, the amount of detail which begs exact and careful coverage also
increases. An example of the sequence of tasks one needs to undertake
when setting up a Web page is given in Ciolek (1995b). Each of these
major steps, described as 'Data Acquisition', 'Data Preparation',
'Data Formatting', 'Document Naming', 'Directory Naming', 'Document
Installation', 'Setting Ownership and Protection Levels', 'Updating
Web Indices and Catalogues', 'Connecting Installed Documents to the
Web', and finally, 'Document Maintenance', can be further broken down
into detailed sub-procedures. It is assumed that, ultimately, it is
possible to specify an exact and complete sequence of operations (in
short, an algorithm) one needs to invoke in order to perform a
particular range of Web publishing activities. Once this is
accomplished there seems a real possibility that an appropriate
site/page maintenance-automation software or even a simple CGI/Java
helper tool can be written and used on regular basis.
Another path to the quality of Web resources leads through the
adherence to publication guidelines and templates. These documents
specify styles and preferred presentation standards for online
materials produced by a given team or institution. The guidelines may
address such issues as HTML compliance, standard formats, language
style, length of documents, use of graphics, titles, links to other
documents, backgrounds and other browser-specific extensions,
typography, header and footer templates (UMCP Libraries Web Editorial
Board 1996). Instructions may vary quite considerably in terms both
of the detail and exactness with which stylistical and editorial
decisions are to be handled. Sometimes guidelines make a distinction
between mandatory and recommended features of a Web document
(Electronic Library Access Committee 1995). At other times,
instructions are to be followed and the templates are expected to be
emulated with absolute fidelity. On the whole, the more detailed the
instructions, the more unified and elegant is the appearance of a
given site. However, such uniformity and precision are usually
attained at a cost. The speed with which new materials can be added to
the existing collection, as well as the speed with which technological
or procedural innovations are adopted, is usually lost.
A third area of improvement to the Web is concerned with the
Netiquette (Network Working Group 1989), or the 'traffic rules' for
ordering and facilitating the interactions between large numbers of
strangers working with each other in Cyberspace. Undoubtedly, the
great bulk of such notes and 'savoir-vivre' observations applies to
the recommended conduct across the USENET news groups and various
mailing lists (Gargano 1989,
Berleant and Liu 1995). However,
there also seems to be a slowly developing body of elementary rules
for publication and use of the Web-based resources. In late May 1996
the main WWW netiquette points, derived from a guideline by Rinaldi
(1996) and also from the work of Ciolek (1996b), clearly separate the
responsibilities of readers and authors.
For instance, readers may be advised not to treat the Web as a
frivolous playground, avoid impulse-surfing and to conserve the
bandwidth by disabling 'graphics load' options on their browsers. They
are also advised to notify a page maintainer about errors/mistakes
present in his/her document and when doing so to provide complete URLs
of the page in question and of the dead link itself.
At the same time publisher and author are urged that when moving a
document from one URL to another, they should always leave on the old
URL a complete redirection message for the period of at least a few
weeks. They are also reminded that links leading to large volumes of
data (text, images, video or voice) should also include an indication
of their size in Kb. Another set of suggestions is to keep URL naming
standards simple and parsimonious in switching between upper and lower
case, and to include the option of text links in documents with a
large number of graphics. Finally, authors are reminded not to
infringe copyright laws or publish obscene, harassing or threatening
materials. They are also urged to remember that authors of WWW
documents are ultimately responsible for what they allow users
worldwide to access.
In the final analysis, the procedural approach suggests that the
health and well-being of networked resources is the joint
responsibility of its publishers and readers (i.e. not of the network
owners or various official regulatory bodies regardless how much they
would like to exercise such responsibility). Both publishers and
readers need to cooperate and guard each other against blunders and
abuses which disrupt the system and threaten its long-term viability
(Network Working Group 1989). This sentiment is echoed by A.
Rutkowski, who, as the president of the Internet Society, remarked
recently that "The Internet is a creature of the unregulated, highly
dynamic computer networking field - not the traditional regulated
monopoly telcom environment. The Internet does best where the
environments are subject to little or no [centralised - tmc]
regulation of any kind" (Rutkowski 1994b).
5. WWW repair - Structuring approaches
The 'structuring' approach proposes to cope with the problems of the
evergrowing volumes and complexity of rapidly changing networked
materials through a system of electronic labels, annotations and
meta-data tags (Crossley 1994, Text Encoding Initiative 1996a,
Rosenfeld 1996b). Therefore a common encoding scheme is sought for
complex textual structures in order to reduce the diversity of
existing encoding practices, simplify processing by machine, and
encourage the sharing of electronic texts (Sperberg and Burnard :
Firstly, data-location tags are devised to provide a reader with a
means of discovering where information exists and how it might be
obtained or accessed on the network. For instance, the Text Encoding
Initiative (1996b) bibliographic tagging captures the intricate
distinctions required by most bibliographic systems by establishing at
least 27 different fields, such as, 'address', 'annote', 'author',
'booktitle', 'chapter', 'date', 'edition', 'editor', 'editors',
'fullauthor', 'fullorganization', 'howpublished', 'institution',
'journal', 'key', 'meeting', 'month', 'note', 'number',
'organization', 'pages', 'publisher', 'school', 'series', 'title',
'volume', and finally, 'year'.
Secondly, current work on contextual annotation provides a way of
placing a given document or database record within a larger corpus of
related materials, as well as within the context of an institution
responsible for placing it online. For example, an organisation may
recommend (Australian Department of Defence 1996) that documents
published from its WWW server include the following comment fields:
(i) Identification (must be unique within the system and last for the
life of the document); (ii) Description (author or originator, title,
version, date, time of creation, owner or document manager,
originating organisation, date and time of receipt) (iii)
Responsibility (organisational unit responsible, date and time of
registration, template, compound document links, language, format,
media, standard used, file number, index or thesaurus terms); (iv)
Status (draft/final? security classification); (v) Retention/Disposal
information (retention period, disposal authority number, disposal
status, disposal date).
Thirdly, work is also proceding on data-filtering. Labels and
annotations are increasingly used to describe resources' content,
structure and overall characteristics and so give an indication of its
fitness for use (Armstrong 1994). Online resources with annotations
offering detailed information such as consistency of data,
accessibility/ease of use; coverage/scope; timeliness of updates;
error rate/accuracy; integration across documents and records;
supported output formats; documentation, and value to cost ratio
certainly allow for better or quicker data filtering. This is a
feature especially useful when dealing with masses of materials
floating on the WWW system which since January 1991 has grown from a
couple of hundreds of hypertext documents mounted on a handful of
machines, to a collection which in mid-May 1996 comprised 30 million
pages found on 225,000 servers - and in which the search on the
keyword "Dalai Lama" returned over 3000 unique records (Altavista
Finally, a detailed markup of the document can be embarked on in order
to provide multiple ways of viewing and analysing information
contained in a given collection of documents. For instance, work
conducted by U. App and C. Wittern in the field of ancient and
medieval Chinese Buddhist texts consists of several mark-up 'sweeps'
done for each of the documents (Mohr 1996). First of all, there is a
basic structural markup, aimed at separating and annotating the
logical divisions and elements of the document. The second stage of
work is focused on content markup. Specialist tags in a document are
created to mark all occurrences of personal names (eg. names and
titles of Ch'an/Zen teachers, monks and government officials);
place-names (eg. cities, rivers, lakes, mountains, temples and
monasteries); names of documents (sutras, koan collections,
biographies of famous monks etc); dates; philosophical and religious
concepts, and so forth.
This stage of work often takes weeks or months and needs to allow for
easy customization and gradual addition of new tags depending on ones'
familiarity with the content and context of the tagged materials.
Finally, upon completion of the content-markup the document may be
passed to data specialists who carry out overall SGML markup using
dedicated editing software. The SGML encoding (Goldfarb 1990) allows
for great flexibility in providing texts for world-wide network
delivery. This is possible since the mark-up separates presentation
and formatting information from structure and content information, and
facilitates display on different devices. Also, the 'grainy' or
structured nature of the marked-up documents allows for their
transmission as fragments rather than as entire text. SGML tagging
also allows for more focused information retrieval operations on a
given corpus of texts.
Documents and resources, when fully tagged and marked up according to
the best of the SGML and Text Encoding Initiative standards can be then turned into specialist knowledge systems. These
systems would be able to offer multiple and increasingly complex views
of the same electronic corpus of information to users. The original
body of texts would be seamlessly linked with supporting raw-data,
additional documentation, commentaries and annotations,
bibliographies, as well as with external calls to various data-bases,
interactive maps, and finally to appropriate sound and
video-resources. A first step in that direction has been already taken
in the form of ZenBase CD1 (App 1995).
6. WWW repair - Bibliographical approaches
There is also a growing consensus among the users of the World Wide
Web that unless there are adequate, consistent and simple means for
academic referencing of the whole range of the networked information,
the Web resources will not be awarded full recognition within academic
discourse. A. Greenhill and G. Fletcher (1995) wrote: "Unless
corrected, the significance of this oversight will be exacerbated as
more academic journals become available on-line and more computer
literate students enter tertiary study. Furthermore, the status of
researchers who have published in this medium will be affected and
universities may deprive themselves of the staff best equipped to meet
the challenges of the information economy".
Within the last decade or so, a number of new tools for delivery of
scholarly or factual information have been developed. These are:
E-mail messages, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) files, FTP Mailserv
files, Gopher files, Listserv messages, Online databases and records,
Standalone databases and records, Synchronous Communications (MOOs,
MUDs, IRC, etc.) transactions, Telnet sites and files, USENET news,
Web files as well as a variety of specialist computer programs
(applications). How great interest there is in proper bibliographical
referencing of those sources of information can be gauged from the
fact that one of the online guides to Citations of Electronic Sources
(Walker 1995) was accessed not less than 3811 times within a 15 day
period 2-17 May 1996.
While computer-mediated tools greatly increase the range and speed
with which data are delivered, they also display a number of
characteristics not to be usually found in conventional paper
Firstly, many online resources are highly unstable and changeable.
Secondly, electronic materials frequently lack the complete set of
data about their author and the document itself. Moreover, many
sources of information, like e-mail, listserv or IRC messages,
frequently do not have a fixed abode on the network. Another
complication arises from the fact that electronic documents, as a
rule, do not possess the pagination structure so typical of paper
publications. Finally, electronic documents are extremely sensitive to
slightest typographical changes to their addresses (URLs). Also, it is
a common practice for users of online documents to copy-and-paste the
listed URLs (as opposed to more time-consuming retyping) and
incorporate them into their own web pages. This means that the URLs
need to be published in citations verbatim, that is without any
embellishments and paper-style 'packaging', such as brackets, quotes
or full stops.
Even at this early stage in the development of the Internet, numerous
schemes have already been proposed to tackle the issue of scholarly
referencing of online materials (Walker 1995,
Lee and Crane 1993,
Lee and Crane 1996). A systematic attempt to collate information on
the complete range of these approaches has been already undertaken by
A. Greenhill (1996). An overview of existing works aimed at the
development of common reference standards suggest that the world of
electronic citations seems to be governed by three strongly
interacting forces: (a) the body of existing conventions developed for
the realm of paper-based publications; (b) the body of emerging
conventions for keeping track of network-based publications; (c) the
pragmatics of the readers behaviour, always focused on the directness,
ease and speed with which tasks can be performed. Since the realm of
the networked publication is largely a product of the grass-root and
user-driven decisions and developments, one may conclude that none of
the elaborate, detailed and highly embellished citations schemes, such
as the ones proposed by Page (1996) will not attract much following.
By the same token, minimalistic conventions involving just a handful
of simply presented fields (i.e. 'surname', 'name', year', 'document
title' and 'url'), such as those developed by Li and Crane (1996 - APA
Style) or Greenhill and Fletcher (1995) do indeed have a chance to
become a de-facto standard.
7. WWW repair - Evaluative approaches
The evaluative approaches to the Web start with an assumption that the
networked information resources, however dissimilar they might be,
share in fact a number of common characteristics or features, and that
they can be graded or rated in terms of 'scores' received for each of
those features. Ideally, such evaluations should be a simple
procedure, so that they could be automated and carried out by a piece
of software. However, at present only labour intensive, and often
idiosyncratic, manual processes are being devised.
The steadily growing interest in the techniques suitable for assessing
and comparing Web resources has lead recently to the creation of
specialist sites monitoring practical and methodological developments
in this area (Smith 1996a , Auer 1996). The 'evaluative' activities
seem to form two main streams: (a) individual work on creation of
checklists or "toolboxes" of criteria that enable WWW information
sources to be assessed, and (b) commercial, long-term projects aimed
at the periodical reviews and gradings of large volumes of online
material. In the first case, the emphasis is on finding how the
overall quality of the networked resources can be meaningfully
discerned, analysed and compared. In the second case, the emphasis is
on a quick separation of potentially popular materials from the rest
of the Web so that a site providing such rudimentary 'filtering'
services can attract Internauts and draw them towards the site's
The first group of approaches is represented by works of Caywood
Tillman (1996) and
Grassian (1996) who attempt to specify and enumerate the essential ingredients,
or features, of a 'good' or 'high quality' or 'useful' Web resource.
Thus the proposed indicators of quality of the Net resources involve
summaries of characteristics such as:
1. ease of access, 2. good design, 3. good content - a three point
synthesis of the 27 items long check-list (Caywood 1995).
1. uniqueness of information, 2. ease of finding it on the net, 3.
ease of access, 4 good structure and organisation, 5. good formatting
and presentation, 6. usefulness and trustworthiness, 7. ease of
resource maintenance - a seven point synthesis of the 115 items long
check-list (Ciolek 1996c).
1. scope (breadth, depth, time, format [type of resources covered]),
2. content, 3. accuracy, 4. currency, 5. authority, 6. format and
appearance, 7. audience, 8. purpose, 9. uniqueness, 10. workability
(user friendliness, search facilities, connectivity), 11. cost - an
eleven point synthesis of the 54 items long check-list (Smith 1996b).
1. ease of determining the resource's scope, 2. ease of identifying
the meta-data (the authority of authors, the currency of information,
the last update, the nature of the updates), 3. stability of
information, 4. ease of use - a four point synthesis of the 10 items
long check-list (Tillman 1996).
1. content and evaluation, 2. source and date, 3. structure, 4. other
issues - a four point synthesis of the 44 items long check-list
Each of those criteria is based, in turn, on a series of more detailed
questions and sub-questions. For instance, Caywood's (1995) criterion
of the 'ease of access' relies on answers to the following
checkpoints: "Is the site still useful with an ASCII browser like
Lynx? Is it written in standard HTML, or have proprietary extensions
been used? Does it use standard multimedia formats? Do parts of it
take too long to load? Is it usually possible to reach the site, or is
it overloaded? Is it stable, or has the URL changed? Is it open to
everyone on the Internet, or do parts require fees? Are any rules for
use stated up front?"
The commercial approaches are best represented by work initiated by
McKinley/Magellan site (1996) and, independently, by the Point
Corporation (1996). Magellan is an online guide to the Internet that
includes a directory of tens of thousands, rated and reviewed,
Internet sites and a vast database of yet-to-be-reviewed sites.
Magellan covers Web sites, FTP and gopher servers, newsgroups, and
Telnet sessions. An excerpt from the 'Frequently Asked Questions' file
(McKinley 1996) says:
"Q: What kinds of sites does Magellan review? A: We aim for a lively
mix of sites, from familiar Internet favourites to the newest of the
new, in all of our subject areas [...] Magellan does not review sites
relating to pornography, paedophilia, or hate groups."
The rating procedure, adopted by commercial sites, is simple. Magellan
reviewers evaluate each of the selected Web sites, awarding from one
to 10 points in three criteria: 'Depth' (= is the site comprehensive
and up-to-date?); 'Ease of Exploration' (= is the site well-organized
and easy to navigate?), and finally 'Net Appeal' (= is the site
innovative? does it appeal to the eye or the ear? is it funny? is it
hot, hip, or cool? is it thought-provoking? does it offer new
technology or a new way of using technology?). The final result of
these operations is an overall rating of one to four Magellan stars,
depending on the number of points awarded to a given resource: one
star (1-12 points), two stars (13-21 points), three stars (22-27
points), and four stars (28-30 points). A similar procedure is adopted
by the Point Corporation which aims "to point out the good stuff, save
you time, and help you to achieve 100% pure surfing pleasure" (Point 1996) and which evaluates the sites on a scale from one to 50 points.
Their three criteria are: 'Content' (= how broad, deep, and thorough
is the information? are there good links? good clips? is it accurate?
complete? up-to-date?); 'Presentation' (= is the page beautiful?
colourful? easy to use? does it lead readers through the information
nicely? does it break new ground?); and 'Experience' (= is this fun?
is it worth the time? would you recommend it to your friends?).
The work on evaluative approaches, scholarly and commercial alike, has
barely started. It raises, however, a number of methodological
Firstly, the selection criteria used in the reviewed evaluative
procedures tend to be very general indeed. Concepts such as 'ease of
access' or 'user-friendliness' or 'crisp page layout', 'detailed
meta-data' seem to be applied to the online materials in a very
general fashion, as if all documents and all resources were written in
the same natural language, had the same complexity, same structure,
and served the same purpose. Can one really use the same vague,
impressionistic concept to compare a single document with a collection
of research papers, and finally, with a large-scale electronic
archive? One would think not.
Furthermore, the operational meaning of each of the employed criteria
remains unclear. Does the notion of 'workability' (Smith
refer to the same phenomenon identifies as 'ease of finding, ease of
access, good formatting and presentation' proposed by Ciolek
or that referred to as the 'stability of information and ease of use'
by Tillman (1996)? Also, how does one go about measuring the breadth,
depth or thoroughness of information? Moreover, what does it mean that
a page or a graphic image may 'take too long to load'? How many
seconds, and under what circumstances, are considered to be an
acceptable waiting time? Another, and related problem, is that of the
intra- and inter-evaluator consistency of the rating procedure.
Ideally, one should expect that the same material when evaluated at
different times will invariably receive the same score. Similarly,
various judges, while using the same checklist of questions should
give the same site overwhelmingly similar scores.
It can be seen, therefore, that what we tend to call summarily 'the
quality' or 'the value' of an information resource, is in fact, a
product of complex dynamic interaction of a large number of variables.
For example, if we talk about electronic information in general, we
could start by enumerating such resources as the FTP, WWW, Gopher,
Telnet, E-mail, Listserv, IRC and so forth. On the other hand, if we
focus on the Web information resources alone, then we would do well if
we listed such facilities as data-files, on-line papers, e-journals,
resource-guides, and home pages of various research projects. Finally,
if we concern ourselves solely with the WWW-based e-journals then we
should be able to make a number of distinctions between the journal's
title-page, its masthead and section on editorial policies, the table
of contents of the entire journal, the table of contents for a given
issue, individual articles of the journal, and so on.
There are also many aspects of each of these types the information.
The most obvious aspects are: (1) Language of the online information
(eg. text-based information may be expressed in English, German,
Sanskrit, Korean etc.). Some of these languages depend on a simple set
of 26 Latin characters, others require the use additional accented
characters, others still are based on double-byte codes necessary for
accurately mapping the tens of thousands of ideographs; (2) Encoding
(eg. ascii, Big5, Unicode, number formats, date formats, etc.); (3)
Accuracy of the information, or its relationship to that which it
attempts to represent (eg. completeness of the data; presence/absence
of spelling and typing errors; the handling of accents, macrons and
diacritics etc); (4) Size of the information (eg. measured in number
of characters, number of computer screens or in the kilobytes and
megabytes); (5) Structure (eg. division into chapters, sections and
paragraphs; organisation of documents into linear sequences, circles,
hub and spokes, trees, lattices and random access [database] systems);
(6) Layout (eg. arrangement and placement of the information on the
screen), and finally (7) Presentation (eg. choice of typography, font
sizes, use colour, use of decorative material etc.)
Finally, it appears that one can distinguish at least five levels of
(1) Pointer - an address of a unit of information (eg. hypertext link
(URL), details of the subdirectory path and filename; database name
and unique keyword combination; bibliographical reference, film and
frame number, record and track ID number). The pointer seems to
consist of the actual address and any number of associated labels and
annotations which comment on the object targeted by the address.
(2) Item - the minimal addressable unit of information (eg. a line in
a document, a paragraph, a chapter, a table of contents, a graph, a
table with statistical data). An item usually consists of a body of
text with or without a certain number of item-specific pointers.
(3) Document - a coherent collection of information items (eg. FTP
document, Web page, database record, e-mail message, letter,
memorandum, article, slide, photograph, video-clip, sound track). A
document is a mosaic constructed from information items and a number
of document-specific pointers.
(4) Resource - a coherent, annotated collection of documents (eg. ftp
archive, database, www publication, journal, book, telephone
directory, video cassette, LP record, CD, audio cassette). In other
words, a resource is a complex mosaic constructed from several
interrelated documents as well as from resource-specific information
items and pointers.
(5) Information system - a coherent, well-annotated, indexed and
cross-referenced collection of resources (eg. a virtual library,
encyclopaedia, photo-archive, video-library, sound archive, record
library) and the interconnecting pointers.
A brief glimpse of how all these variables may interact with each
other is offered by the Table 1.
Quality issues and concerns in
the WWW scholarly publications
ASPECT/LEVEL Pointer Item Document Resource Info.System
Language | ease of | | legibility of | universal | universal
| writing & | | headers & | legibility of | legibility of
| copying of | legibility | footers | TOCs & | TOCs, indices
| the URL | | | indices | help files
Encoding | universal | good handling | handling of | uniformity | good handling
| legibility | of symbols & | local lang. & | within a | of all possible
| ascii code | local chars | English | resource | encoding syst.
Accuracy | absolute | good handling | completeness | timeliness | completeness
| freedom | of numbers | of data | of data | of coverage
| from errors | & accents | | |
Size | brevity | several | fast loading | fast | fast switching
| URL size | fast loading | doc. size | switching to | to another rsrc
| <60 char | items | <10-15 kb | another doc. | & help files
Structure | URL+label+ | logical | good intra- | good inter- | good inter-
| annotations | sequence | document | document | resource
| | | navigation | navigation | navigation
Layout | Navig. links | crispness, | main info | main info |
| in standard | legibility, | at the top of | at the top | ???
| locations | clarity | document | page |
Presentation | clarity & | understated, | short loading | consistency | differentiation
| crispness | professional | time, good | uniformity | between
| | feel | taste | of 'feel' | resources
A closer look at the table suggests the following remarks and
The exact meaning of a given aspect of information, such as 'Size' or
'Presentation', depends on the level at which it is applied. Thus the
notion of optimal size in terms of a 'Document' (e.g. article in a
journal) is not identical with the optimal size for a 'Resource' (eg.
journal itself). Furthermore, each of the above matrix cells, formed
by an interaction between aspect and level of information is capable
of generating a large number of detailed queries. For instance, the
cell "size x pointer" inevitably leads to a discussion of not only of
the maximum acceptable number of characters within a URL itself, but
also of their maximum number within any label attached to it, as well
as within any annotations and commentary fields accompanying given
URL. Also, it is advantageous if questions are specific and practical,
and responses to them are as detailed and factual as possible (eg.
'under 60 chars'). This important if a given practical solution is to
be evaluated, revised and improved upon. Also, detailed, practical
specifications are easier to work with, even if they are initially
erroneous, than more general ones (eg. 'professional feel', or 'short
Another observation is that the presence of occasional un-answered
questions (marked with "???") indicates that at least one of the
variables involved was couched in a too general a fashion and the
wording needs to be re-cast in practical terms (eg. "what is the most
suitable layout for a help file (as opposed to a meta-data file) in a
WWW-based large scale information system?" or "where exactly the
hypertext pointers should be located on a TOC page of an online
Finally, Table 1 suggests that simpler levels of information appear to
be less redundant, and less tolerant of any errors, mistakes, and
shortcomings, than the higher levels of information. A single typing
error at the level of a pointer is more detrimental to the useability
of on-line materials than the identical transposition of characters at
the level of information item (eg. footnote) or at the level of a
whole document (eg. research paper). Similarly, a single typing error
within a pointer at the level of a URL is more critical than identical
transposition of characters within a label or an annotation
accompanying such URL.
In sum, in order to speak intelligently about such a general concept
as 'the quality of information' we have to undertake a careful and
detailed analysis involving two simultaneous procedures. Firstly the
complete range of performance criteria such as 'stability of
information', 'ease of navigation', 'currency of information or
'net-appeal' needs to be systematically mapped onto a detailed matrix.
This matrix is formed by the intersection of all the variables
comprising the types, aspects and organisational levels of
information. Secondly, results of such mapping have to be related to
the overall context of users' (readers') network hardware, software as
well as their previous experiences, expectations and knowledge. None
of these tasks is easy or can be carried out in a mechanical fashion.
Clearly further intensive work needs to be done in this area. It
might, perhaps be furthered by a closer involvement of various
professional associations and learned societies, so that comparisons
and ratings of various Internet sites and resources are not only done
on a regular basis, but they are done in a replicable and meaningful
8. WWW repair - Organisational approaches
Finally, the organisational approaches assume that the prevailing
chaos, methodological shortcomings and scattering of effort can be
overcome through energetic and 'competitive cooperation' (Rutkowski
1994a) between various individuals and institutions with a stake in
the Web. The good-natured competitiveness among the players is assured
and reinforced by the continued adherence to the heterogeneous,
distributed, polycentric model of Internet activities. Cooperation, on
the other hand, is founded on voluntary agreement to share and
circulate relevant information and to delineate spheres of activity in
order to avoid any major encroachment on a colleagues' field of
Among the activities concerned with the organisational adjustments of
the Web there are three projects which deserve special praise. These
are: the "WWW Virtual Library Project (WWW VL)" (Secret
initiated in 1991 by T. Berners-Lee; "The Clearinghouse for Subject
Oriented Guides to the Internet", created in 1993 by L. Rosenfeld
(1996a); and the "Special Interest Networks (SINs)".
One of the best examples of successful cooperation on the Web is
provided by the Special Interest Networks (SINs), which were first
proposed in 1994 by D. Green and J. Croft (1994). This idea draws
extensively on the examples set both by the WWW VL and "The
Clearinghouse". It also broadens them into a widely cast network of
expert sites that collaborate to provide a complete range of
information activities for a given subject area
According to Green-Croft's approach, SINs should combine the roles of
information suppliers, distributors and users. They should be able to
act as the Web equivalents of professional and scholarly societies and
as the electronic counterparts to the traditional libraries.
Therefore, the SIN nodes (specialist WWW sites) need to be dedicated
to: (i) promotion of communication among the networked scholars, (ii)
development of research tools and resources through maintenance of
specialist virtual libraries and stable repositories of knowledge and
information; and (iii) speedy dissemination of research results
through online publication of data and analyses. In addition, SINs
could also offer a fourth function: (iv) provision of expert
information services to governmental and commercial clients.
Such SIN nodes are expected to provide the necessary organisation (=
ensuring that users can obtain information easily and quickly),
stability (= ensuring that sources remain available and that links do
not go 'stale'), quality (= ensuring that the data are accurate and
up-to-date) and standardization (= ensuring common, regular format for
collection and interchange of the data and documents) to the
network-based information. The coordination between activities of
constituent SIN sites is achieved through their logical design as well
as through well-planned division of responsibilities. It is also
attained through automation of data maintenance tasks, systematic
mirroring of each otheršs data collections, adherence to jointly
developed standards, and observance of the uniform quality control
measures. To be successful, SINs should strive to provide reliable,
and authoritative online information services, to encourage
participation among qualified researchers, and to accommodate the
inevitable growth both in data holdings and in the scale of Internet
The subsequent elaborations of the theme (Green
1995) also suggest
that the Special Interest Networks are well equipped to handle the
explosion of the networked information, its sheer volume, the rapid
turnover and change (especially the need to maintain information up-to
date), and the proliferation of its forms (paper, microfilm, CD ROM,
off-line computer files, and online documents). According to D. Green
"the SIN model provides a user-driven solution, in which groups of
people interested in a particular topic organise and index information
in the ways they find most useful. The Twenty-first Century will
surely become the era of the knowledge web. SINs, in whatever form
they may take, will play a major role in its organisation." (Green 1995:17).
9. Concluding remarks
In the medieval legend, of the many who set out on the long
and arduous quest, few ever catch more than a fleeting
glimpse of the elusive Grail, and only three (Galahad,
Parcifal and Bors) succeed in finding it and bringing it to
the ailing King.
The contemporary legend of the Internet is even more complex
and more demanding than its illustrious predecessor. The
long-term viability of the Web as a medium for scholarly
publications requires that the best techniques, best
practices, and the best methodologies are not only searched
for, and not only glimpsed but also that they are found,
documented and widely disseminated. This has to be
accomplished on the widest possible scale and swiftly,
before the Web dissolves into an amorphous mass of
repetitive, indifferent, and dubious informational snippets.
As this author wrote in January 1996: "the WWW system has
reached a cross-roads. Since its inception in 1991 [...] the
WWW-based information, tracked by dozens of Web Crawlers and
Harvesters, continues to grow exponentially without much
thought for guidelines, safeguards and standards concerning
the quality, precision, trustworthiness, durability,
currency and authorship of this information. This situation
is untenable. Unless serious and energetic remedial steps
are taken [...] the system currently known as the WWW may
need to be redesignated as the Multi-Media Mediocrity, or
the MMM, for short." (Ciolek 1996a, 108). Half a year
later, in mid 1996, the urgency of the repair tasks has
grown even stronger.
I am indebted to Philippa Kelly and Allison Ley for critical
comments on the first draft of this article. This paper is a
result of the many rewarding years of work with my
colleagues from the ANU Coombs Computing Unit team,
especially with Rob Hurle and Sean Batt, and with such
exemplary and inspiring Internet friends as Irena Goltz,
Maureen Donovan, and Arthur Secret.
[with URLs updated 22 Sep 1997]
The great volatility of online information means that some of the URLs
listed below may have changed, or disappeared altogether, since the time this article
was printed. Fortunately, since early 1996, most of the web sites world-wide are
now systematically tracked and permanently archived by The Internet Archive
at the www.archive.org address..
ALTAVISTA: 1996,"The Internet's Home Page",
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APP (Urs): 1995, ed., ZenBase CD1. (Kyoto: International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism), ISBN 4-938796-18-X.
ARMSTRONG (Chris, J.): 1994, "Databases and Quality: Why not try 'What You See Is What You Get'?", Managing Information, Nov/Dec, 1,
AUER (Nicole): 1996, "Evaluation of Internet information resources - a bibliography",
AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE : 1996, "Interim Guidelines for Establishing a WEB Information Service",
BAILEY (Charles W.): 1995, "Network-Based Electronic Publishing of Scholarly Works: A Selective Bibliography", The Public-Access Computer Systems Review 6, no. 1. (Version 21: 5/24/96).
BARRY (Anthony): 1995, "NIR in not enough",
BARRY (Anthony): 1996, "Libraries, the Web, Interactive Forms and CGI Scripts",
BERLEANT (Daniel) and LIU (Byron), 1995, "Robert's Rules of Order for e-mail meetings", IEEE Computer, 28, 11
CAYWOOD (Carolyn) : 1995, "Library Selection Criteria for WWW Resources",
CIOLEK (T. Matthew): 1995a, "Ensuring High Quality in Multifaceted Information Services", in Proceedings of the AUUG'95 and Asia-Pacific WWW'95 Conference, Sept 17-21 1995, Sydney, Australia, pp. 68-75.
CIOLEK (T. Matthew): 1995b, "Procedures for Document Publication on the Coombsweb WWW Server",
CIOLEK (T. Matthew): 1996a, "Today's WWW--tomorrow's MMM? The specter of multi-media mediocrity", IEEE Computer, 29, 1, pp. 106-108.
CIOLEK (T. Matthew): 1996b, ed., Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library,
CIOLEK (T. Matthew): 1996c, "Quality Info. Systems - Catalogue of Potent Truisms",
CLARKE (Roger): 1996, "Net-Ethiquette - Mini Case Studies of Dysfunctional Human Behaviour on the Net",
CROSSLEY (David): 1994, "WAIS through the Web - Discovering Environmental Information",
in Proceedings of the The Second International WWW Conference (WWW Fall 94) Mosaic and the Web - Chicago, USA (17-20 October, 1994).
ELECTRONIC LIBRARY ACCESS COMMITTEE (ELAC): 1995, "UW-Madison Campus Libraries Web Page, Standards and Guidelines",
ERICKSON (Jonathan): 1996, "Excellence in Programming Awards", Dr. Dobb's Journal, 245, March, pp. 16-17.
GARGANO (Joan): 1989, "A Guide to Electronic Communication & Network Etiquette",
GOLDFARB (Charles F.): 1990, The SGML Handbook, (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
GRASSIAN (Esther): 1996, "Thinking Critically about World Wide Web Resources",
GREEN (David G.): 1995, "From Honeypots to a Web of SIN - Building the World-Wide Information System", in Proceedings of the AUUG'95 and Asia-Pacific WWW'95 Conference, Sept 17-21 1995, Sydney, Australia, pp. 11-18.
GREEN (David G.) and CROFT (Jim): 1994, "Proposal for Implementing a
Biodiversity Information Network", in Linking Mechanisms for
Biodiversity Information, Proceedings of a Workshop for the
Biodiversity Information network, Base de Dados Tropical, Campinas,
Sao Paulo, Brasil.
GREENHILL (Anita)and FLETCHER (Gordon): 1995, "A Proposal for Referencing Internet Resources",
GREENHILL (Anita): 1996, ed., "Electronic References & Scholarly Citations of Internet Sources",
LI (Xia) and CRANE (Nancy): 1993, Electronic Style: A Guide to Citing Electronic Information (Westport: Meckler).
LI (Xia) and CRANE (Nancy): 1996, "Bibliographic Formats for Citing Electronic Information",
LIU (Cricket) et al.: 1994, Managing Internet Information Services (Sebastopol, Ca.: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.).
THE McKINLEY GROUP, INC.: 1966, "How are the sites rated?",
MATTHEWS (John): 1981, The Grail - Quest for the Eternal (London: Thames & Hudson).
MILLER (George): 1996, ed., Indonesian Serials Database - Database Majalah Indonesia,
MOHR (Michel): 1996, "The Taipei meeting of the Electronic Buddhist Text Initiative - Impressions by Michel Mohr",
NETREE.COM: 1996, "Netree Internet Statistics -- Estimated"
NETWORK WORKING GROUP: 1989, "Ethics and the Internet",
PAGE (Melvin E.): 1996, "A Brief Citation Guide For Internet Sources in History and the Humanities",
POINT COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION : 1996, "Frequently Asked Questions about Point",
RINALDI (Arlene H.): 1996,"The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette",
ROSENFELD (Louis B.): 1996a, ed., Clearinghouse for Subject Oriented Guides to the Internet,
ROSENFELD (Louis B.): 1996b, "Label Laws: Some rules for clearly identifying content" Web Architect, 29 March 1996,
RUTKOWSKI (Anthony-Michael): 1994a, "Today's Cooperative Competitive Standards Environment for Open Information and Telecommunication Networks and the Internet Standards-Making Model",
RUTKOWSKI (Anthony-Michael): 1994b, "The Present and Future of the Internet: Five Faces",
SECRET (Arthur): 1996, ed., World Wide Web Virtual Library,
SIEGEL (David): 1995, "The Balkanisation of the Web",
SMITH (Alastair): 1996a, ed., "Evaluation of Information Resources",
SMITH (Alastair): 1996b, "Criteria for Evaluation of Internet Information Resources",
SPERBERG-McQUEEN (C.M) and BURNARD (Lou): 1991, eds., Guidelines for the Encoding and Interchange of Machine-Readable Texts. (Chicago, Oxford: Text Encoding Initiative).
TEXT ENCODING INITIATIVE - TEI : 1996a, "TEI Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange (P3)".
TEXT ENCODING INITIATIVE - TEI : 1996b, "Bibliographic Citations and References",
THOMAS (Hugh): 1995, An Unfinished History of the World (London: Papermac & Macmillan General Books).
TILLMAN (Hope N.): 1996, "Evaluating Quality on the Net",
TRELOAR (Andrew): 1995, "Scholarly Publishing and the Fluid World Wide Web" in Proceedings of the AUUG'95 and Asia-Pacific WWW'95 Conference, Sept 17-21 1995, Sydney, Australia, pp. 326-332.
UMCP LIBRARIES WEB EDITORIAL BOARD: 1996, "Style Guide for Authors of Web Pages",
WALKER (Janice R.): 1995, "MLA-Style Citations of Electronic Sources",
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium: 1996a, "W3C Activity areas",
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium: 1996b, "Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)",
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium: 1996c, "Web Style Sheets",
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium: 1996d, "Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS)",
visitors to www.ciolek.com since 08 May 1997.
Maintainer: Dr T.Matthew Ciolek (email@example.com)
Copyright © 1996 by T.Matthew Ciolek.
[ Asian Studies WWW VL ]
[ www.ciolek.com ]
[ Tibetan Studies WWW VL]