Always evaluate websites Anyone with a bit of knowledge about computers and the Internet can put information on the World Wide Web.
Academic research is different from personal research because academic research requires current, correct, and well-documented information written by institutions/people who are authorities on their subjects.
Sites should be unbiased UNLESS biased information is useful for a particular assignment.
The World Wide Web is a place of business - education and business don't always align!
Source: "The Research Process" by Nancy Florio, Copley Library, The Canterbury School
You are are probably accustomed to using search engines (e.g, Google) to search for information on the Internet. Search engines are automated; they use sophisticated algorithms to pull the results that seem most related to your search. Another option is to use an Internet directory. Internet directories are collections or lists of links which, in contrast to search engines, have been chosen and edited by experts. Here's one to try:
The search engine relies on what you type into the search box in order to determine what results you should see, so choosing the right keywords is, well, key! Google's Basic Search Tips page has useful advice for this process. If you still don't get the results you need, library staff can help you refine your search.
Be alert to these signs that a website is low-quality and not worth your time:
1. The author does not give his or her real, full name
2. The page has a "spammy" feel, such as having keywords repeated over and over or many distracting ads
3. The page looks abandoned, as if it hasn't been updated in years.
4. The page contains grammatical errors.
5. The page contains formatting errors. These are often a sign that the page's content has been copied and pasted--that is, plagiarized--from another source.
6. The page doesn't list any sources for the information it presents