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GALILEO vs. the Web

GALILEO is found on the Web, but it’s not the same as a Web page

GALILEO is a Web site that is a collective of information databases. This information is mostly from previously published printed sources, specifically periodical literature (magazines, newspapers, professional journals). Because this previously published information has undergone a certain amount of editorial scrutiny, you can rely on information from GALILEO to be more credible. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t apply some evaluative questions to the information in GALILEO, but that you can trust that the writers of the information are generally professional journalists or experts in a field of knowledge. GALILEO also includes a collection of Internet Resources selected by libraries.

The Web is truly a democratic medium. You don’t have to have any qualifications to publish on the Web; you don’t have to undergo an editorial process to have your site published by a host computer; you don’t even have to give factual, verifiable, useful information. You can publish pictures of your cats, if you want to. Anything goes, and often does, on the Web. It’s the wild frontier of information.

GALILEO is a fortress in the wilds of the Internet. Personal Web sites and commercial interest sites aren’t allowed into the fortress. So, you can have some peace of mind when using the information gathered from the GALILEO databases. You still have to question the information provided, but at least you know that it has been questioned already.

Your professor may require that you use no more than one or two Internet resources for your research. This confuses some students when they are using GALILEO articles as resources. Although GALILEO is indeed an Internet resource, the information provided there has a printed paper counterpart that was published first. GALILEO articles are hard copy printed words that have been digitized and made available on the Internet through GALILEO.

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