Search verticals are hot so LookSmart launched five new vertical sites today aimed at different user groups. Each offers access to FindArticles material along with a interface to search the LookSmart web index.
+ Teenja (For Teens)
+ GradeWinner (For Tweens)
+ 24Hourscholar (For the College Student)
+ ParentSurf (For Parents)
+ GoBelle.com (For Moms on the Go)
I guess if you’re a mom (who’s on the go) and is also a college student, you could use three of these sites. (-:
Each vertical lists a human editor who selects articles from the FindArticles. However, I was unable to find what criteria these editors use to determine what is and isn’t material worthy of inclusion into each vertical.
I wondered if results from the LookSmart web index would be targeted for each user group. I ran the same web search at 24hrscholar and Teenja and got the same results. Finally, I found adult material at Teenja and GradeWinner but was unable to find any type of filter to remove (or try to remove) adult content. This could make use of these sites in the K-12 community an issue.
I’ve said many times before that it’s really sad when students and the general public for that matter don’t know that thousands of public libraries offer full text and free access to thousands of sources (newspapers, magazines, full text reference books that are accessible with a library card WITHOUT having to visit the library.
Here’s an idea of what I’m talking about from a library in my area. Wow! Again, every library offers different services but overall, this is high quality material including many tools aimed at students. Of course, all universities also provide access to many full text databases and reference tools accessible from dorm, home, office, etc.
For more on free library databases, take a look at this SearchDay article.