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Mental 1: Selected Websites

Using Web Pages

The websites listed in this section have been reviewed by our librarians for their credibility. Always assess the requirements in your assignment specifications to ensure you are searching for the right sources. Also, remember to always evaluate web resources to ensure reliability and relevance to your topic. 

Evaluating Websites

It is very easy to search any keyword on the open web and get millions of results from Websites, Blogs, Wikis, Social Networks, along with official and reputable sources. It is your responsibility as a researcher to distinguish sources that are reliable, credible, current, from the ones that aim to entertain, are based on opinion rather than on research ,or don't comply with the criteria to be considered a reliable source. Use the areas below to guide you in assessing web sources. 

 

Purpose

Much of what appears on the Web is intended to sell or entertain.

  • What is the goal of the site, and does it accomplish this in a fair-minded, scholarly manner? 
  • Can you verify the information given?
Source

Anonymity destroys credibility.

  • Who is the document written by and are they an expert?
  • Where does the information come from?
  • Tip: Look at the domain in the web address to distinguish the main source. The most common types of domains are: .edu (educational institution), .com (commercial entity), .org (organization), .gov (government).
Intended Audience

Much of the information on the Web is designed for general consumption. 

  • Who is the intended user of the site?
  • Does the site indicate other sources used?
Date of Publication

Good research requires up-to-date information.

  • When was this site created? 
  • Has it been updated regularly?
  • How current are the links? Do they work?
Appearance

You can tell something about a book by its cover.

  • Is the site well-written and grammatically correct? 
  • Does the general layout of the page (graphics, design, etc.) appear scholarly?
  • Do images and texts compliment each other?

 

 

Adapted from: "Evaluating a Website’s Appropriateness for Scholarly Research" Cengage Learning. Cengage, September 2014. Web. Accessed July 6, 2015.

Recommended Websites

Difference between Library Databases & Internet Search Engines

 

 

Library Databases

Internet Search Engines 

Access

  • The Library pays for subscription
  • To access remotely you will need your CCC username and password
  • Free to anyone with Internet access 

Content

  • Created by experts
  • No review standards with regard to content

Reliability

  • Information is organized and evaluated by experts
  • Information is not organized
  • There are no parameters for content evaluation or currency

Results

  • Ranked based on relevance to search terms
  • Influenced by ads and a complicated proprietary algorithm

Examples

  • Academic Search Complete, Nursing and Allied Health Collection, Gale, Virtual Reference Library
  • Google, Bing, Yahoo