[Previous] [Next] [Up] [Title]

2. Browsing using World Law's catalog

2.1. World Law and DIAL home pages

The World Law Home page <http://www.austlii.edu.au/links/> provides information about World Law, including details of contributors to World Law's content, and links you to starting page for World Law and DIAL.

 The Project DIAL Home Page <http://www.austlii.edu.au/dial/> , shown below, provides information about Project DIAL and links you to starting page for DIAL and World Law, and to various pages of the World Law catalog that are of particular importance to DIAL ('shortcuts'), as well as information about DIAL training and other matters.


Extract from DIAL Home page <http://www.austlii.edu.au/dial/>

Guided Tour

2.2. Starting point - the 'World' page

The starting point in the catalog for both World Law and DIAL is the World page, which contains the categories below. You can get back to the 'World' page from the [World] link in the button bar at the top of each page.


DIAL and World Law start page in catalog - <http://www.austlii.edu.au/links/World/>


There is also an 'Australia' page which is the starting point for all of the Australian pages in the catalog. However, the 'World', 'Australia' and 'Project DIAL' pages are all part of the one catalog.


We use the following terminology:

Subcategories of the 'World' page

The Top subcategories of the World page are as follows: The Middle subcategories of the World page are as follows:

2.3. Cross-indexing of web sites

The essential point to understand about this catalog is that most web sites are catalogued in at least three ways: This means that there is usually more than one way to browse to the information you are looking for.
Guided Tour

2.4. The structure of other pages in the catalog

Catalog pages have a three part structure. The content of the three parts is consistent, but has some variations from page to page in order to make the pages easier to use, and depending on whether the page concerned is a 'Country' page or a 'Subject Index' page. The top and middle division are essentially for navigation around the catalog, and the bottom division is where the content of the catalog is found.
Guided Tour
  1. Look at some pages in the catalog with a standard structure :
  2. Some examples of variations:

2.5. Navigating the catalog (the browsing hierarchy)

Every page in the catalog lists at the top of the page its hierarchical location in the catalog. In other words, it lists the hierarchy of categories and subcategories (starting with 'World') that give it its position in the catalog. Click on the name of any category in the hierarchy to go back to the patge in the catalog for that category.

In the example below, if you click on the word 'Countries', you go to the World >> Countries page (listing all countries in the world), but if you click on 'United States of America' you go to the page World >> Countries >> United States of America, the starting page for the USA.

 You can always get back to the start of the catalog by clicking on 'World >>' .

 If you are in the 'World' part of the catalog and you want to get to a particular country page (eg Vietnam), click on 'World >>' then '>> Countries >>' and then select 'Viet Nam'.

Note: There is one anomoly in the catalog hierarchy: the Australian part of the catalog starts with 'Australia>>' not 'World>>", but you can always get to the 'World' page from the button bar.

Guided Tour

2.6. 'See' and 'See Also' subcategories - the @ symbol

On many pages, links to some or all subcategories of the catalog will be followed by a '@' symbol. The use of the '@' symbol means that this is a cross-reference to another part of the category hierarchy. When you go to a cross-reference, you go to a different part of the hierarchy, from the one you are now in, and the hierarchy displayed at the top of the page will change from where you were. In order to get back to the page you came from, you must use the 'Back' button in your browser, you cannot use the browsing hierarchy to do so.

 This occurs in two situations, which in a library catalog or book index would often be called 'See' and 'See Also'. In World Law, the difference between the two uses of '@' relates to the scope of searches. These differences are explained further under 'Searching', under the subheading 'Limiting search scope - difference between 'See' and 'See also'.

2.7. The button bars

At the top of each catalog page, there is the button bar:

The buttons mean:
[World] Links to the 'World' page at the start of the catalog
[New] Lists new additions to the catalog.
[Translate]  Translates this and following pages into any of 5 European languages (uses Alta Vista's Systran)
[Add a Link] Provides a form for users to suggest new links.
[Feedback]  Send an email comment (or suggested links) to us. 
[Edit] Ignore - for Editors only.

Under the search window on each page is the button bar:

[World Law Help] The latest version of this Guide.
[Boolean operators] Details on how to use search connectors.

Guided Tour

2.8. The web pages listed in the catalog - reliability

Sites are listed in World Law / DIAL if they appear to be a serious attempt to provide useful legal information. Most useful law sites on the web are 'unofficial' sites and do not provide any guarantee that the information they provide is 'official' or 'up-to-date'. In addition, the content on web sites changes constantly, making evaluations very difficult.

 There is a [Disclaimer] button on the top of every World Law page that explains that we cannot take responsibility for sites linked to from World Law / DIAL.

 The best way to make your own assessment of how reliable a web site may be is to go to the home page of the site and read information about who provides it. See the Guided Tour below for ways to do this.

Guided Tour
  1. A link in DIAL to the Plant Breeders' Rights Act, [1990, c. 20] takes you directly to the page <http://www.canlii.org/ca/sta/p-14.6/>. How can you assess the reliability of this web site?:

2.9 What if a page is no longer there?

Sometimes when you go to a link to a web page listed in World Law's catalog or found by a World Law search, the page will not be available and you get a message like 'Not Found - The requested URL was not found on this server' or 'Error 404'.

Sometimes this will be because the page no longer exists, but very often it is simply because the site operators have changed the site since the World Law index was last updated, and the page has been moved. It is still there, but you have to find it. The best way to find a moved page is to delete part of the page address, back to the next '/', and see if that gives you part of the site which does have content and allows you to find the moved page. See an example in the Guided Tour.

Guided Tour

[Previous] [Next][Up] [Title]