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Libraries and Archives Orientation

Internet Research

The Web is an excellent source if you're looking for current information, or a variety of perspectives.  It is not so good for authoritative, scholarly content.  To be a savvy user of Web resources, read on.

Evaluating Internet Information

  • Who is the author or publisher? (Go to "About" link on websites)

  • What is the mission of the website? Who is the intended audience?

  • Is there bias or opinion? (Much information on the internet is produced by businesses, agencies, organizations or individuals with a certain agenda.)

  • When was the information last updated? (Check for the "Last updated date" at the bottom of the webpage)

  • Check the domain: ".edu" and ".org" domains are non-commercial.  (They may still be biased, however!)

Websites as Primary Sources

When a website is not reliable as an objective academic source that considers various viewpoints (a secondary source), it may be valuable to you as a primary source ("raw material") that you can then analyze.

This is where the internet really shines! You can get primary sources such as corporate reports and activists' manifestos from around the world that would have been hard or impossible to obtain only 20 years ago.

Advanced Google Searches

Use search operators in a Google search to find government or nonprofit websites, as well as websites from specific countries.

Follow this pattern:

keyword site: domain extension


Examples:

cross dressing history site: org
only websites from non-profit organizations

dress code site: mil
only websites from the US military

school uniforms site: edu
only websites from educational and academic institutions


Domain extensions:

com - commercial
edu - educational
gov - government
int - international organization
mil - military
net - community networks
org - nonprofits


To find websites from a specific country, use Country Codes

Example:

garment factories site: in
only websites from the country of India


Other advanced search options, such as limiting by language, are available on Google's Advanced Search page

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides access to scholarly articles and conference papers, many of them available online as PDF files.

If you're logged in to your MyNewSchool account and search Google Scholar, you'll be able to access journal articles through library databases (such as JSTOR).

NOTE: Do not pay to get the full text of any article. If you can't find the full text, please Ask Us for help.