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Quick Start to Research: Credible Websites

Guiding you through the research process.

Websites

The World Wide Web has information galore. Using search engines (like Google, Yahoo and Bing!) to find free information on the web is the first step in research for many students. However, the web should not be your only place for information gathering. There are many high-quality websites, but there are also many low-quality websites as well.  Remember to evaluate all information you find on the web to ensure that it is credible and can be use for your research project. 

 

Search

Find additional research materials using one of these resources:

The Internet Archive:

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and provides specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities.

http://www.archive.org/

HathiTrust:

HathiTrust Digital Library is a digital preservation repository and highly functional access platform. It provides long-term preservation and access services for public domain and in copyright content from a variety of sources, including Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house partner institution initiatives. 

The partners ensure the reliability and efficiency of the digital library by relying on community standards and best practices, developing policies and procedures to manage content and services at scale, and maintaining a modular, open infrastructure.

http://www.hathitrust.org/

Government Searching @ USA.gov :

As the U.S. government's official web portal, USA.gov makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web. USA.gov also serves as the catalyst for a growing electronic government.

http://www.usa.gov/index.shtml

Related Guides

The SIFT Test

 

                   

Make sure you collect quality, reliable sources.

One way to evaluate information is with the SIFT Test.

  • STOP
  • INVESTIGATE the Source
  • FIND Better Coverage
  • TRACE Claims, Quotes, and Media to the Original Context.

Use the SIFT to determine if your source is credible.

Some thoughts on Wikipedia

 

 

 Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, has made finding background information incredibly easy.  But if you are planning to use it as a key resource for your research beware:

  • Wikipedia and other encyclopedias (whether in print or online) do not qualify as scholarly resources. 
  • Encyclopedias are a good place to start your research, but not are generally not considered acceptable sources to cite.
  • The collaborative and dynamic nature of Wikipedia presents a number of additional concerns regarding the quality and authority of the entries.