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Thesis Writers Toolbox

Help with literature review research and state of the field research: tools and tricks for rounding up all the resources you need for your review, introduction and more....

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).

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.

Google Search Tip

Use Google to find government or nonprofit websites, as well as websites from specific countries.

Follow this pattern:
keyword site:domain extension

Examples:
art history timeline site:org 
=non-profit organzation websites

public art site:gov
=government websites

outdoor sculpture images site:edu 
=educational/academic websites

Domain extensions:
gov - government
org - nonprofit organizations
edu - educational institutions
com- commercial
net- community networks
mil - military
int - international organizations

To find websites from a specific country, use the Country Codes

Example: 
microcredit site:in 
=websites from India