Railway Resource Awards - Guidelines

Although there are no set criteria for winning one of my railway resource awards, you may be interested in the following guidelines that will help give you an idea of what I consider a railway resource web site to be. Note that although I may change the guidelines on this page at various times, it is unlikely that this reflects a change in my opinion of what a railway resource web site is. Instead it is more likely to be a clarification of my expectations based on web site submissions that I have received and either presented with one of my awards or more likely rejected for some reason.

Note that I am the author of all of the example pages referred to below and the associated comments relate to consideration of that particular page's contribution to the site being considered a resource if the site consisted solely of such pages and not to the entire web site to which the individual pages belong. Nothing on this page is intended to criticise the content of any web site but rather to clarify how I define a Railway Resource.

While not criteria as such, the guidelines on this page will hopefully assist you in determining the likelihood that I will consider your web site for one of my railway resource awards.

First and most obvious, the web site must be about railways to be considered for my railway resource awards. To be more specific, to be considered for my model railway resource award the site should have a number of pages about model railways. Similarly, to be eligible for either my UK or Australian railway resource award, the site should have a number of pages relating to either prototype or model railways specific to that country.

Secondly, it should be a resource site. In my opinion a resource site is one where the purpose of the site is to provide information about a given topic. A resource site is not there to sell products it is there to inform. If a shop site also contains a significant number of railway related articles in their own section on the site then I might consider that section of the site for an award but it would have to be separate from the sales pages and have sufficient pages to be judged separately from the rest of the site (in this instance I ask that you please submit an address for the resource pages that you want considered for the award and not the address for the main site). Where the resource material is sufficiently unique I may be more forgiving if it is not fully separated from an online store site but it would still need to be sufficiently separated to allow me to present the award to and link to the resource pages and not the whole site.

The information provided by the site needs to be freely available to anyone. Information sites that charge for access or which restrict access to those who sign up (even if it is free to sign up) will not be considered.

Links pages that contain just a straight list of links such as my UK clubs page enhance a resource site but by themselves (no matter how many pages of links that you've got) are not a resource site. On the other hand if the page also contains a lot of additional information about the linked site (such as the AMRA Other Clubs page) then I might consider a site containing a sufficient number of similar pages as a resource.

A resource site also consists of more than just one or two pages of information. Just how many pages a site would need for me to consider it a resource depends on the amount of information on each page, how interesting I think the information is, and how unique that it is.

The home page of a railway resource site should clearly identify the main subject covered by the site and the links to the pages of information should make it obvious what information is attached where. To be useful, information should be able to be found. That is the primary purpose of these awards, to help people find valuable railway resource sites so they need to be able to find the information once they get there.

The subject of the site also needs to be of reasonably general interest (at least in terms of where those interested in the subject may be located). A club site that only contains information relevant to existing and potential members of that club would be unlikely to qualify as it would only be of interest to those living in the area covered by the club. The subject covered by the site does not necessarily have to be one of interest to me in order to be considered.

Another way to find out what I consider to be a suitable site is to take a look at those sites that have already won one of my awards as obviously these sites have met my requirements for the award. If your site as a similar depth of content to one of these sites then you are a likely winner. Note that I said similar depth of content and not similar content as I am unlikely to award two sites that cover exactly the same ground, your site needs to offer something different.

Hopefully, these guidelines give you a better idea of what I consider to be a Railway Resource site that would qualify for one of my awards. If you think you qualify then please submit your site.

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