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Information Sources: Web Sources

This guide will assist you in choosing the best sources for your information needs.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Web contains information published by governments, educational institutions, professional organizations, non-profit groups, commercial enterprises, and private individuals from all over the world. It is a great tool for booking a flight or hotel reservation, making an online purchase, finding a government form, finding quick facts, news, and so on. The Web can be somewhat of a challenge when trying to find information for a research paper. Why?

  • Search results are ranked by relevancy determined by computer programs

  • It is unreliable for getting to peer-reviewed content

  • Advertisements and links can be distracting

  • Information varies in its accuracy, reliability, purpose and value

Although it is always important to evaluate any information, it is especially important to evaluate information obtained from the Web. Anyone can put up a web page, and searching the Web is like putting your hand into a grab bag. You do not know what you will pull out. CARS (Harris, 2015) (see video below) is one method for evaluating a website, and there are many others.

CARS: Evaluating Information You Find on the Internet

Cranfield University Libraries. (2015, September 11). CARS: Evaluating information you find on the internet [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/2kBTthmdmIQ

 

Open Access Journals

"Open access is a model of scholarly communication that promises to greatly improve the accessibility of results of research. In general terms, scholarly research that is published in open access is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions (although it does require that proper attribution of works be given to authors)" (CARL, n.d.).  The following are links to peer-reviewed open access journals: