GOOGLE www.google.com - General search engine
TRY GOOGLE SCHOLAR - scholar.google.com
Evaluating Research Sources
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
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