Weekly Assignment #6

Mea culpa! So sorry I didn’t post the assignment. Here it is, and you may post your responses when you can.

Please do one or both of the following:

  • Find 1-2 “new model” digital scholarly projects online that are related (however loosely) to your topic. Describe and evaluate the usefulness of the scholarly project(s) as usual, but please also look for and mention evidence that the scholarly project is in fact scholarly. Who is the primary scholar responsible for it? Does it have an editorial board? Is it peer-reviewed in some fashion? Is it associated with a particular university, center, institute, foundation, or university press?
  • Do a keyword search related to your topic on Google and then on 1-2 other search engines and describe the differences between the Google results and the other results (please say which keywords you used).

Other search engines you might try include Vivisimo and Dogpile. See also Wikipedia’s list of search engines. If you can get it to work, there’s also fascinating information to be had at Thumbshots Ranking.



Filed under Weekly Assignments

5 responses to “Weekly Assignment #6

  1. Lorian Long

    I didn’t have much luck searching for “digital scholarly projects,” but I did end up finding an awesome blog by the “Postmodern Anarchist.” This would have been helpful for the last assignment.
    Google was pretty disappointing when I searched “Sexuality in Postmodern Literature.” (It was even more disappointing with a “Mary Gaitskill” search.) The top ten results from Google were primarily course descriptions from various universities.
    Vivísimo was much more helpful than Google. The results were divided into categories, and that saved me from having to sort through random links. I searched “Sexuality in Postmodern Literature” and came up with 188 results. Georgetown University had a very helpful page that I only found through Vivísimo and not through Google. Thanks, Vivísimo!
    I thought it was kind of funny that Dogpile asked me if I wanted to proceed with my search (sexuality in postmodern literature), due to its “adult content.” But I confirmed my legal age and found that Dogpile gave me almost the same results as Google. However, it did list an interesting webpage dedicated to postmodernism: “The Monstrous Feminine in Literature and Art.” There were listings for essays on “Postmodern Bodies” and “Postmodern Women Writers.” Gaitskill wasn’t listed, but I will definitely consult this page for further research.
    P.S. It’s kind of strange how “Sexuality in Postmodern Literature” will always produce more results about homosexuality than heterosexuality….as if homosexuality is the only kind of sexuality in postmodern literature. Perhaps it is. Who knows.

  2. Elizabeth Livingston

    I did not have much luck with Wikipedia as far as finding new information; however, when I entered “existentialism in Hemingway” in the search engine it led me to the definition of neopagan which I found relevant to my search. The definition is “a form of positive existentialism comprising an attitude to the environment in which the immediate is indulged in to the fullest, with tomorrow left to fend for itself.”
    I then searched “existentialism in Hemingway” on google and found many sites that I had already stumbled across in other searches. However, I did find a link to a college thesis which clearly echoes mine. I can order the thesis from the Amherst college archives (I was not able to actually view the paper from the link). I also found some information about existentialism in reference to Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-lighted Place” from another college website: cai.ucdavis.edu/enl31storylist.html.
    I had the most fun with vivisimo simply because I had never used it before. I searched under the same phrase and had many of the same sources appear; however, I found the organization on the left hand column (“clustered results” column) incredibly helpful and insightful. The essay section held links I had not found yet. I will definatly incorporate this search engine in other endeavors.

  3. Leah White

    When I searched Vivisimo and Dogpile, I think I was expecting to get some better results than I did. Vivisimo’s clustering sounds really good, but for my keywords, it just didn’t seem to work that well. When I used “gender language linguistics” as my keywords, I got back these clusters: Applied Linguistics; Courses; Language and Gender Studies; Department of Linguistics; Syllabi, Language And Gender Taught In An Array; Book; Berkeley; Chinese; Translation; Women, Men and Language. That final one looked promising until I went to it and realized that it was eight websites trying to sell me a book by that name. By changing one search term from “gender” to “sex,” I got an almost completely different set of clusters with such descriptive names as “Department” and “Program.” Mostly, I didn’t find much of use here, aside from a few website syllabi I might be able to use to get some sources.
    I have used Dogpile before, but not for a while. I was, I must say, more than a little put off by the mixing of sponsored and non-sponsored webpages in my results. This was especially annoying when I changed my search term here from “gender” to “sex” as I did in Vivisimo. I did get a message before it took me to my results that said “You’ve entered a Web search term that is likely to contain adult content” and asked whether I wanted to filter more heavily. Even when I set it on the heaviest filter setting, though, my first result was still oh-so-discretely called “North Carolina — XXX.” I was a little confused, however, that I only got about 80 results listed on Dogpile, and I couldn’t find a good explanation for that anywhere.
    I know I’m probably just set in my ways or something, but I do like Google best out of the engines I’ve tried. Rarely do I have any issues with sponsored links getting in the way of my resuults, and even when I put in ‘sex’ as one of my keywords, I don’t get any results attempting to lead me off the beaten path away from linguistics research. Also, maybe it’s just me, but I like it when I have the option of going through all 6 million results given to me or narrowing it down by degrees from there, not just being left with the 176 that Vivisimo decides to give me or the 80-something that I can’t figure out how Dogpile decided to give me. (Sorry about that… rant mostly over.)
    I do have one question though, and I’m not sure if anyone can explain the answer. On all three of these search engines, one page kept showing up in the top three results, but the problem is, the website is no longer there. All three of them, though, still have a description. How can this still be floating around in cyberspace as an answer to my inquiry if the webpage no longer exists? And how is the description/blurb thingie still there if I click on the link and get nothing but a “Not Found” message? Okay, I and my apparently techno-deficient brain are going to wrap this up now.

  4. James Sellers

    I used google and vivisimo to search for “dialect isogloss” because I am interested in seeing different was of graphically representing dialect continua.
    Google results:
    1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isogloss (wikipedia entry on the term isogloss)
    2. http://www.outerbeaches.com/OuterBanksCulture (an article about the isogloss of the outerbanks brogue in NC that did not include a graphic representation)
    3.www.chass.utoronto.ca/canengglobal/abstracts/tony_pi.pdf (an abstract for a paper titled Beyond the Isogloss: The Isograph in Dialect Topography)
    4. http://www.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atlas/ICSLP4.html (an article by Bill Labov)
    5. http://www.springerlink.com/index/G577576149865151.pdf
    1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialect
    2. http://www.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atlas/ICSLP4.html
    3. http://www.outerbeaches.com/OuterBanksCulture
    4. dialect.kiwiki.homeip.net
    5. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isogloss
    6. body-piercing.228d.com/Dialect/Isogloss (quote from the description on vivisimo “Searching for Isogloss information can be tough. We have compiled many new Isogloss resources to help you find the Isogloss your looking for.” the link led to a bunch of ads.
    7. http://www.specgram.com/LP/20.rankin.isoglossy.html (not a bad paper abstract that has nothing to do w/ accoustics although it claims to)
    Google seemed to return more results w/ useful academic articles, papers and abstracts. Vivisimo seemed to have more wikis and other things that defined the terms I searched for. Vivisimo also had a lot more sites that were designed to look like useful databases but in fact were just ads. I can generally spot them before I click through becuase their urls look like “apartment.beyond-links-resource.info/Dialect/Isogloss” but it is still annoying.

  5. Lisa Morgan

    I received the following results in search engines Google and Dogpile when I searched for keywords ?death row? and ?death penalty?:
    Google results for ?death row?:
    When searching for the keywords ?death row? in Google, most of the first ten results were relevant to death row as a serious topic; however, the sixth result was a record company called ?Death Row Records.? The first result was the death penalty homepage for the State of Texas Department of Criminal Justice (www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/deathrow.htm) which provided a list of death row inmates and statistics like the number of executions per year. This website showed up frequently on the ?death penalty? search in Google as well as both keyword searches in Dogpile. The second result which also showed up frequently in other searches was the Death Penalty Information Center (www.deathpenaltyinfo.org). The Death Row Fact Sheet (Florida Department of Corrections) was the third result and Pro-deathpenalty.com was fourth. Wikipedia article on ?death row? showed up fifth and a PBS documentary ?Frontline: Angel On Death Row? showed up seventh. Amnesty International?s Human Rights Concerns page appeared as well.
    Dogpile results for ?death row?:
    There were more results per page (20) on Dogpile than on Google (only 10). Most of the above Google results for ?death row? appeared here in Dogpile, and that?s probably because Google is one of the search engines that provide results to multiple-search engine Dogpile. Actually, there was not much of a difference between the search results in Google and Dogpile, except that Dogpile repeated the same linked pages ?some results were merely different webpages within the same site, but showed up as separate links on the results page in Dogpile. So you get more pieces of the same link on the same result page when using Dogpile. This was annoying because I?d rather just see one ?Death Penalty Information Center? link rather than several parts of that site appearing like separate results on the same page. One fiction novel by John Grisham appeared in the Dogpile results. The novel?s story was about a death row inmate.
    Google results for ?death penalty?:
    First result was Death Penalty Information Center, second was Pro-deathpenaltycom, third was Death Penalty Focus (deathpenalty.org) which was a California grassroots non-profit against the death penalty. Amnesty International?s Human Right Concerns page appeared once again. Death Penalty Links (www.derechos.org/dp) was in seventh place.
    These results were very similar to the results found in Google for ?death row.?
    Dogpile results for ?death penalty?:
    First place ? Death Penalty Information Center
    2nd place ? Death Penalty Links
    3rd place ? http://www.FindLaw.com ? provides free legal info and resources on criminal law
    4th place ? Pro-deathpenalty.com
    5th place ? Death Penalty Focus (deathpenalty.org)
    8th place ? Death Penalty Information, High School Curriculum (deathpenaltyinfo.msu.edu)
    9th place ? ACLU: Death Penalty website
    Several downloadable term paper websites appeared in these results on Dogpile..
    In performing these keyword searches, I noticed that the same four or five websites appeared in the first ten results. This doesn?t necessarily mean that these websites are the most relevant, most revered, most prominent, or most informative websites on the keyword topics. I used to write copy for an online search marketing company that specialized in generating higher search engine rankings for company websites. The Google (and other search engines) search engine ?bots? spider there way across the internet searching for the keywords you type into the search engines. If a page has repeated those keywords in 5% of their home page, that page is most likely to appear in the first group of results on Google or other search engines. Not only does keyword density play a role in whether or not a search engine picks up a certain website, but also link popularity.