Unique Features

While reviewing the many megasites, we noticed that while not all sites were equally strong in all areas, that many of them had unique features or had incorporated special concepts which we felt were of particular value or made a site especially appropriate for very specific types of information needs. Some of these features are ones which should be considered for inclusion by other sites (after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery), while others will remain especially suited only for a particular site. Here are some of our favorites.

Biosites Has a listing of the most recently added 25 links. This is different than HealthWeb's "What's New", which lists new topics rather than new links. In listing the most recent 25 links, Biosites also includes the date added, thus clearly demonstrating ongoing activity in collection development.
Galaxy Search results include the Subject Headings under which the link is structurally located within the site, thus facilitating browsing or serendipitous retrieval.
Health on the Net (HON) The very concept of HONcode, Health on the Net's Code for ethical development of health information web sites, has been a major contribution to quality control of these sites overall.
healthfinder As a service funded and offered by the United States government, healthfinder is the only site we know of which freely offers reference assistance to the general public. While the turn around time on answers isn't the tastest (about five days), this is a place to which you can refer questions from patrons outside your service population.
HealthLinks Internet Toolkits allow the University of Washington to customize their offerings to specific patron groups, such as health care administrators, grant seekers, care providers, or others. This is a bright idea for offering highly selected sets of internet resources which are of particular interest to a particular user population, but which are not necessarily appropriate to include in the general portion of the site.
NOAH Multilingual resources in both English and Spanish allow NOAH to provide service to a more diverse population. HON also provides bilingual service, but this time in English and French.
OMNI Geographically sorted search results allow a person to select a link both by topic and by estimated connect time or delay. HON has added a similar feature in just the last few months, but they also allow sorting by domain.

Health on the Net Foundation
Health A to Z
Medical Matrix
Medical World Search
Multimedia Medical Reference Library
Health Sciences Library, U of Pittsburgh
Virtual Hospital
WWW Virtual Library: Biosciences: Medicine
Yahoo Health

URL of current page: http://www.umich.edu/~pfa/megasite/uniq.html
Last updated: May 23, 1998.
Copyright 1997, 1998, P. F. Anderson, Nancy Allee, Jean Chung, Brian Westra, Virginia Lingle.