The AsiaWeb Project is looking at the problem of accessing quality and relevant information on the Web. It is the product of collaboration between two disciplinary standpoints. Dr Mimi Recker is approaching the problem from a generic, systems viewpoint, seeing the information domain as a case study and Dr Tim Beal has an interest in the computer access and manipulation of information on Japan, and Asia generally. We are taking business information on Asia as the general subject and within this Japan is a priority area. However, it is considered that the techniques developed could be applied to any subject area. We are working from a number of premises:
There is an explosive growth of Web information
The Web lacks the validating and guidance structure of the traditional publishing/library environment
There is therefore a problem in efficiently finding relevant, quality and validated information.
One attempted solution is to appoint domain specialists as 'virtual librarians' who validate and categorise World Wide Web (WWW) sites. The limitations of this are discussed. Our approach is to develop an infrastructure for supporting collaborative, distributed information filtering of Web resources. The filtering comes not from librarians and traditional guardians of information, though neither librarians nor library techniques are neglected, but the user community itself.
Beal, T. & Recker, M. (1998). Harnessing user communities for website location and evaluation. East Asian Library Resources Group of Australia Newsletter, no. 35, 3-20.