The Investment and Governance Division of OIT uses the following selection criteria to ensure impartial, quality link directories. Few resources will meet all criteria; program areas will balance strengths against shortcomings in evaluating each resource. Any of these criteria may provide an overwhelming reason to either select or reject a specific resource.
1. Purpose. The purpose of the resource must be clearly stated and fulfill the stated purpose of the directory.
2. Audience. The resource must appeal to the intended users of the directory and satisfy the needs of this audience. The language and reading level must be appropriate to this audience.
3. Content. The information should be factual in nature. The resource should contain original information, or it can be an index to other related resources not already listed. Preference will be given to resources that provide information completely rather than information that has been abstracted from another resource or resources. The author or provider of the resource should have a commitment to its ongoing maintenance and stability.
4. Accuracy. The information in the resource must be accurate as best as can be determined. There must be no political or ideological biases. There should be a technically balanced viewpoint, or it should be clear if there is not.
5. Authority. The resource must be provided by a reputable publisher, organization, or expert. The author's or provider's qualifications and credentials should be stated on the website. Sources of information should be cited and should be verifiable.
6. Currency. Resources with more current information will be given preference. Update frequency is also a consideration for some directories.
7. Scope. The scope of the resource should match the expectations of the intended audience. Aspects of scope may include:
Breadth: Are all aspects of the subject covered?
Depth: To what level of detail in the subject does the resource go?
Time: Is the information in the resource limited to certain time periods?
8. Uniqueness. A resource should not duplicate information available in resources already in the directory. Resources with unique and desirable features will be given preference.
9. Stability. The resource is expected to remain available for the foreseeable future. If the resource provider requested the addition of the link, the resource provider must agree to notify the appropriate program area if the link changes.
10. Format and Appearance. The format of the resource should be intuitive, and it should be clearly organized. The most important content features should be easy to find. The resource should be interesting to look at, and any visual elements should enhance the resource.
11. Workability. The resource should be convenient and effective to use. Aspects of workability include:
User friendliness: Is the resource easy to use? Does it respond to a variety of browsers and connections?
Searchability: How effectively can information be retrieved from the resource? Is the resource organized in a logical manner to facilitate searching? Is the organizational scheme appropriate? Is a useful search engine provided? What operators and ranking features are available? Is the search engine interface intuitive? Does the search engine index the whole resource?
Connectivity: Can the resource be accessed with standard equipment and software, or are there special software, password, or network requirements? Can the resource be accessed reliably and quickly, or is it frequently overloaded or offline? Does it support terminal access as well as graphical browsers?
12. Cost. Any resource that requires the user to give a credit card number or incur any fees to use the site must clearly indicate this to the user.
In online lists, each link will be checked frequently for viability. Any dead link will be removed or replaced.
In addition, the program areas will regularly re-evaluate all links listed online according to this selection criteria to determine their ongoing appropriateness. Any resource that has changed substantially and no longer meets the selection criteria will be removed. Any resource may also be replaced by a comparable resource that better meets the selection criteria.
E-mail your comments or suggestions for new links to the appropriate program area.
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