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A Subject Directory offers a collection of links to Internet resources, submitted by site creators or evaluators and organized into subject categories. Directories use selection criteria for choosing links to include, though the selectivity varies among services. Most directories include a search engine mechanism to query the service.

You should use a subject directory when...

  • You have a broad topic or idea to research.
  • You want to see a list of sites on your topic that arerecommended and annotated by experts.
  • You want to retrieve a list of sites relevant to your topic, rather than numerous individual pages contained within these sites.
  • You want to search for the site title, annotation, and (if available) assigned keywords to retrieve relevant material.
  • You want to avoid viewing low-content documents that often turn up on search engines.
Subject Directory Characteristics:
  • Hand-selected sites picked by editors, more or less carefully
  • Hierarchical organization of subject categories
  • Some annotations or descriptions
  • Browsable subject categories
  • searches via broad, general terms
Popular Subject Directories


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adapted with permission from
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