~ Special Databases ~
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Databases
Version September 2003
      
Database searching galore
(Covering the invisible web)

[An introduction]   [invisible and "closed"]   [invisible and open]
[important databases]   [how to decrypt databases on CD-ROM]
[statistical data] [ftp access to etext]
[GoW's incredible databases chest]

The 'turningquestionsintoanswers' trick and the necessity of reliable sources

Well, I'm sure you'r already quite able to find the juicy targets you wish to seek out on the web, using the appropriate searchstrings and the whole bric-à-brac of tricks that are explained on my site and elsewhere: recently, for instance, Chris Sherman underlined how important the 'turningquestionsintoanswers' trick can be, an approach that he calls 'Filling the blank lines'. Here his own words:

The trick is to create a phrase that it's likely someone has already written and published on the Web. If you do that, and enclose the phrase in double quotes, it's a slam-dunk for most search engines to find a matching document that'll have exactly the answer you're looking for.

It's easy to do. Just change any question into an answer and leave the keyword you're searching for as the "blank" part of the query. Here are some examples.

Change "Who is the current president of of Kyrgyzstan?" into "The current president of Kyrgyzstan is"

Change "How does a nuclear power plant work?" to "A nuclear power plant works by"

Change "When did Magellan circumnavigate the globe?" to "Magellan circumnavigated the globe in"

A wonderful explanation. These nice hints wont work with google-type engines, alas, but they will make wonders with raging-type engines. Take note of another possible problem when turning questions into answers for search purposes: the problem is due to the 'currentness' of the info on the web, which is more than often, stale.
"Who is the current president of of Kyrgyzstan?" is a VERY different question from the use of the searchstring "The current president of Kyrgyzstan is" to fetch an answer found somewhere on a page that has been maybe written in 1996 (even if the "presidents" of that kind of countries usually do remain in place for ever and ever, or at least until somebody shoots them :-)
With these searchstrings you may find obsolete info without noticing it. See: in the first case you are seeking the 'actual' data, and you'll (try to) find it as such. In the second query you are just fishing 'ready-made' searchstrings out of the void, with no guarantee whatsoever about their intrinsic worthness.
(As a sidenote I would implement for K[y/i]rg[y/i][zs/zis/sis]tan on an ad-hoc bot, instead, given the probabilities of misspelling such an atrocius word all over the english-written web)

Now you realize one of the reasons "real data" (i.e. data you can have confidence on) are quite important for a seeker. That's why I have thought to give you, on a single page, access to some free 'professional' databases and also information about how to decrypt 'common' databases found on cd-roms.

On a similar ave, my workshop essay "Learning to transform questions into effective queries" could be of some interest for these matters as well.

This page is in fieri, bear with me, eh
~S~ Fravia, September 2000


invisible & "closed"


[GaleNet Discovering Science]
Licensed database covering issues, people, topics in all fields of science and math, and a searchable timeline
To access data bases from outside: the name is anne and the access code is arundel.
[National Newspaper Index]
access code seems to be any 8 numbers combination. Access almost all american newspapers (1996-2000). Use this database to find information on: Current Events, Lifestyle, Biographies, Sports, Economics, Consumer Products, World Affairs, Public Health, Business Trends, Entertainment and Travel.
[Service des Bibliothèques]
Banques de données - Liste par sujet
Droit, Sciences de la santé, Sciences pures et génie, Sciences humaines et sociales
[SIRS Researcher]
access code seems to be any 8 numbers combination. Use this general reference database to find thousands of full-text articles exploring social, scientific, health, business, economic, political and global issues selected from more than 1,500 international newspapers, magazines, journals and government publications. Many articles are accompanied by graphics, charts, maps, diagrams and drawings.
Yep, all articles of the world :-) For instance
http://web7.infotrac.galegroup.com/itw/infomark/822/368/65056060w3/purl=rc1_SIRS_0_BK93390&dyn=5%21xrn_15_0_BK93390?sw_aep=aacpl_itweb
corresponds to Anatomy of the Cybernaut, by Sophie Boukhari.
Expert seekers will - ahem - easily understand how intersting the full syntax of the URL above is...


invisible & open

Forms:   [Academic Info]   [The WWW Virtual Library]

[Citeseer]
contains a lot of abstracts to millions of technical documents (networking, programming, algorithms, protocols, etc) and fulltext links to .ps, .pdf, .html and .dvi formatted docs as well.
[Webmath]
Fill in the blanks and this site will calculate the answer
[Digital Librarian]
"A librarian's choice of the best of the Web", quite americanocentric.
[Voice of the shuttle]
"woven by Alan Liu" (English Department of the California Uni in Santa Barbara): mighty collection of electronic resources for the humanities. A wondrous place to start your researches into "humanities"!
[ ibiblio.org - the Public's Library]

Has some interesting journals on line, quite provincial at times (one specific subject is "North Carolina culture")
[SIRIS]

The Smithsonian Institution Research Information System, anthropology galore: online catalog of resources held by the Smithsonian Institution's libraries, archives, and other specialized research centers.
[Project Gutenberg]

Official and Original Project Gutenberg Web Site and HomePage
Project Gutenberg is a quite revolutionary idea: the brainchild of Michael Hart, who in 1971 decided that it would be a really good idea if lots of famous and important texts were freely available to everyone in the world. As simple as that.
[ABU]
Association des Bibliophiles Universels: La Bibliothèque Universelle
L'accès libre au texte intégral d'oeuvres du domaine public francophone sur Internet depuis 1993
[Progetto Manuzio]

Liber Liber, italian literature
"Nullus amicus magis liber quam liber"
[Academic Info]
"Information Gateways" to "Quality Educational Resources" (whatever that is supposed to mean). Covers Area & Country Studies, Health & Medicine, Arts, Humanities, Business, Library & Information Science, Digital Library, Reference Desk, Education, Sciences, Engineering & Social Sciences, you can browse the various directories or search...

 Search Academic Info for  


[The WWW Virtual Library]
The VL is the oldest catalog of the web and was started by Tim Berners-Lee, one of the creators of html and the web itself.
Search the WWW VL:

    Match:   Format:    (help)


[SciCentral]
Gateway to online science resources and research news.


important databases

[askERIC search] ~ [askERIC database] ~ (data from 1996)
ERIC, the world's largest source of education information, with more than 1 million abstracts of documents and journal articles on education research and practice.

[Business Database Selection Tool (Rosenfeld)]
for instance: http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/resources/library/libdgrid.htm

Use the Anderson proxy to access.

[Encyclopedia Britannica]
for instance: http://search.britannica.com/search?query=Kyrgyzstan ;-)

[contentville]
Dissertations (but not only) galore, a very important NAMES finder... for instance:
http://search.contentville.com/search/search_dissertation.asp?pg=1&rn=1&so=1&q1=dissertations&q6=Kyrgyzstan ;-)
Now, they would like to "sell" you the dissertations they list... as if you would not know...

[Silverplatter]
a list of all databases currently offered by SilverPlatter
Eric Weisstein's treasure troves of science
massive science database (especially math)

Search  using

Keywords  
Results per page:  Display format:


how to decrypt databases on CD-ROM

will be added as soon as I find the time...

statistical data

As anyone knows and Disraeli said, "There are lies, damned lies and statistics"... if there's something a reverser will soon realize when using statistics it is not only that they are pretty often purposedly tweaked, but also how easy it is to find out some statistical data combination, or "cut" to substain any theory whatsoever, or turn any theory we don't happen to agree with completely upside-down. You should therefore always be wary, when presented with statistical data (as a simple rule: data from a short chronological range, or of a very specific nature are extremely suspect). Take them always cum grano salis.
Since really reliable data are scattered all over the web, I have gathered here some interesting, easily accessible and not excessively biased (nor outright lying) fonts of statistical data. As you'll see perusing them, you'll even have the possibility to "build" your own statistical tables and comparison.

Eurostat ~ Worldbank ~ OECD ~ United Nations ~ My own stats


[Eurostat main]  [Eurostat: 100 basic indicators] ...alas in pdfformat, yeek... As you can see on my [pdf vagaries] section, there are many ways you can convert pdffed data into text data, the most simple one being the [following one]

Eurostat, "A statistical eye on Europe" Statistical data galore for the Union... reliable, complete and free


[The worldbank search mask]
"Our dream is a world free of poverty" is the worldbank's slogan... quite an Oxymoron if you ask me :-(  But their search engine findes quite some data... try for instance electric power India or all & Kirgiz republic in the "projects" search, in order to have a taste of the data there.



[OECD statistics] and [OECD products]
"Ah!" - will you say - "but I'll have to pay for the data, since they have this awful 'you can read but you cannot print it' rule for their pdf files"... of course you may wish to learn that print-impaired pdf files can be, ahem, uncrippled if a seeker so wishes... :-)



United Nations: [(UNBIS)] quite a powerful data fetching tool & [Infonation] a well known, extremely useful tool: build your own statistical comparisons!

My own stats :-)
...ahem, yes: statistical comparisons you make on your own can be helpful when you try to [reverse some reality] around you. Have for instance a look at two interesting statistical comparisons I have made myself (using real and sound data) for some friends that went to Seattle in November 1999 :-)

[1] economic "development" (20 poorest and 20 richest nations of the world 1960-1995)

and now, before you may say something absurd like "woah... Gottseidank I am in one of the 20 top nations... have a look at the following (USA oriented... but, nevertheless...) graph, eheh :-)

[2] income "growth" (poor and rich populace in the States 1980-1997)

Scary, eh? Note that all data I have used are quite "sound" (afikj): World Bank & US Census Bureau)
Both graphs are a quite impressive description of the "development" offered by the glorious "Globalisation" so cherished by all those that hate human beings.

Ftp, telnet and gopher accessible text databases

Thanks Iefaf!
(see howto @ Usenet and maillists searching)

Online Book Initiative
"The World" is this planet's oldest public dial-up internet service, since 1989. To create an account telnet to world.std.com and login as new. User anonymous access denied.
ftp://world.std.com/obi
Project Runeberg
Project Runeberg's intention is the free distribution of literary and artistic works in Scandinavian languages, much like Gutenberg exists for English. One of the major works in progress is a Swedish edition of the 1917 Bible. Project Runeberg is a distributed, grassroots effort.
ftp://ftp.lysator.liu.se/pub/runeberg/
Internet Wiretap
Internet Wiretap also collects and distributes text to the Internet. Additionally, texts are prepared for the public domain on a somewhat regular schedule. Wiretap's archives are limited to ASCII text, and are available for FTP and Gopher on wiretap.spies.com, in /Library and /Gov. Texts are arranged by subject.
ftp://wiretap.spies.com/Library
Project Libellus
Several works (both Latin and Commentaries) have been produced. Like Runeberg, this is a distributed effort, and all texts are placed in the public domain.
ftp://ftp.u.washington.edu/public/libellus
Other hosts containing smaller amounts of (or pointers to) electronic text
ftp://archive.nevada.edu/pub
ftp://black.ox.ac.uk
gopher://ccat.sas.upenn.edu:70
ftp://ftp.uu.net/doc/literary
ftp://info.umd.edu/info
ftp://nic.funet.fi

GoW's incredible databases chest

You will find this little know web-treasure at the ebmb library:
http://www.ebmb.org/webspace/bowl.php4?verz=%2FThe_Library%2Fonlinedb.html


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