Because classes are mostly online, you might find yourself Googling more and using library resources less to do your coursework.
But have you ever wondered how trustworthy information you find on the internet is? Given that anyone with internet access can put up information, most of what you find using Google has not undergone a review process. For these reasons, when you use Google, you need to be your own reviewer of Googled sources to ensure what you find contains factual information.
Where do you start?
Here are some basic questions you can ask yourself when assessing the reliability of websites and other information you find using Google.
- Is there a listed author of the Internet resource? If so, what do you know about this author's education, work history, affiliations, additional publications, etc.?
- Is there a date indicating when the Internet resource was last updated or published?
- Does the Internet resource cite the work of others?
- Does the content of the resource seem balanced and scholarly--or does it seem to reflect the views of one person or organization?
- Who published the Internet resource? Was the web page published by a business, university, government organization, or professional association?
- What is the intended audience for the Internet resource? Is it appropriate for college-level research? Or is it geared toward secondary education or a more general audience?
- What is the domain of the Internet resource? If it ends in .org, .gov, or .edu it is more likely to be a reliable source (but not always!). If it ends in .com or .net it is less likely to be an appropriate source for college research.
The information included in this LibGuide provide similar ways to evaluate a website you might find. (For example, will your internet source pass the CRAAP test?)