In-Depth Look: InfoMine

Compiled by Rachel McMullen

INFOMINE has been in existence for since 1994, practically a lifetime in terms of the Internet! What makes INFOMINE unique among internet search tools is that specializes in links to scholarly sites with materials appropriate for research. INFOMINE was developed and is maintained by academic librarians, and its audience includes college students, faculty, and researchers. It covers all major areas of academic research from the sciences and engineering to humanities and performing arts. It provides links to thousands of websites sites including e-journals, virtual libraries, specialized reference resources, textbooks and e-books, and maps. Currently there are over 100,000 links with annotations. The strongest area is links to electronic journals.

One advantage of using a site created by librarians is the substantial amount of indexing performed. Library of Congress Subject Headings are assigned to each entry and there are also indexes for keywords, authors, titles, and resource types. Unfortunately, its browse feature is rather clunky, as topics are not divided into smaller categories. If you want to browse you need to know exactly what you want to look for, such as works by a specific author or whatever Library of Congress Subject Headings are applicable. Most users will want to stick to using the search function.

One of the more annoying aspects of INFOMINE is that fair number of the links it provides are to resources that are either fee-based or limited to a specific group of users. Still, INFOMINE can be a useful resource for those wanting to find subject specific academic-level electronic resources.

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