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BIO 131 Botany (Plant Families, Plant Profiles, Biomes): Google/Scholar/Images/Website Evaluation

Information Sources for BOTANY (Plant Families Project)

Advanced 'Google' Search



GOOGLE - General search engine

  • Click on the "advanced search" link under the "gear" icon on the top right of the google screen. (Do a search.  The gear will appear on the NEXT screen.)
  • Limit "domain" to ".edu"  or  ".gov"   (expand if desired to .org or .com. )  EDU sites will usually be provided by colleges and  universities .  GOV sites will include federal and state government websites.  ORG sites will be for organizations and COM sites will be commercial sites. 


  • Click on the IMAGES link at the top of the Google Screen
  • Click on the down arrow on the right side of the search box  to get to the "advanced image search."
  • Limit domain  to .edu or .gov as mentioned above.


  • Use the "advanced scholar search" by clicking on the down arrow on the right side of the search box.
  • Follow links in Google Scholar to "FULL-Text @ Bergen CC"
  • TO SET UP "FULL-Text @ Bergen CC"  message on your computer:
    • Click on the "gear" icon on the upper right side of the Google Scholar entry screen.
    • Click on the "Library Links" button on the left side of the screen.
    • Type "Bergen Community College" in the search box and and search.
    • Check off all  three Bergen Community College results.
    • Click on SAVE. 

Evaluate the information very carefully.

Website Evaluation

C.R.A.A.P. Test
Evaluating Research Sources

  • Currency
    •  Is the information recent enough for your topic?
    •  Has it been published in the last x years? (x will vary, depending on your topic)
    •  If you have a historical research topic, was it published around the date of the original event?
  • Reliability/Relevance
    •  Where does the information come from, and does the information apply to your topic?
    •  Are methods or references provided?
    • Who published the information?
  • Authority
    • Who authored this information?
    •  Are their credentials provided?
    •  What is their reputation or expertise?
  • Accuracy
    • Is the information supported by research?
    • Can the information be verified through other sources?
    • Is the language clear and unbiased?
  • Purpose/Point-of-View
    • What was the intent of the author, and how is the author connected to the information?
    •  Who is the intended audience?
    •  Is the information intended to inform, persuade, sell, entertain, …?

Website Evaluation Strategies

Evaluating Information on the Internet


Why evaluate?

The Internet is a great source of many types of information, but it is important to evaluate what you find. Almost anyone can create a Web site or post information online, and there is no one to edit it or check it for accuracy.  To help you evaluate information you find on the Internet, try to answer the questions below.


·         Is an author listed on the Web site or page? (An organization or government agency may be an author.)

·         Are the author’s credentials given?

·         Is a way to communicate with the author or Webmaster provided?  

·         In what domain is the Web site?  Educational institutions (.edu) and government agencies (.gov) are considered reliable sources of information.  Sites of nonprofit organizations (.org) may be biased.  Commercial (.com) Web sites are usually selling products or services.

·         Are citations or links to other sources of information provided?


·         How does the information compare to what you have found in sources such as encyclopedias, books or journal articles?

·         Is the text grammatically correct and without spelling errors?


·         Is the Web page dated?  Is it current enough for your topic?

·         Are there broken links? If there are, the page may not have been updated recently.


·         What is the purpose of the site? Is it to advertise a service, product or person?

·         Is there advertising on the page?  If there is, how is it related to the content?

·         Is the Web site promoting a particular point of view, or belief? If so, is it biased (one-sided), or does it give more than one perspective?


Some of these questions may be difficult to answer.  If you need help, please ask the librarian at the Reference Desk or contact a librarian through one of the links on the “Ask a Question” page of the Library’s Web site.

BW/SM Spring 2013

© 2010 Sidney Silverman Library
Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road, Paramus, NJ 07652