How To Find Credible Sources Online
The internet is a wonderful tool. There is practically an infinite amount of information on there, on every conceivable subject. You just type in your search term into a search engine, like Google, and the search results appear, showing you all the websites that contain information relevant to your search term. It’s a truly great thing.
But like anything great, there is a downside. The downside is that the information, in all its abundancy, can come from any source, reliable or not. It is what you would call the unregulated wild west of the virtual world. A common criticism is that you can’t trust online sources, which is certainly true to a large extent but not true in the absolute sense. You just have to figure out how to best access the reliable sources. Doing so is a combination of critical thinking and knowing where to look. Critical thinking is much harder to explain, so let’s just focus on the academic and professional sources which can, by default, be assumed to be reliable, and how to find these sources.
First, look for college and university websites. They usually have publications and online educational material that anyone can access. Look for material written by academics that are knowledgeable in their subject area. Plus, find material that is peer reviewed if possible, such as journal papers. This adds to its reliability.
Next, look at government websites representing government agencies (such as Statistics USA). These agencies are tax-payer funded which means they have high accountability and reliability standards that must be upheld with regards to the information they disseminate.
To find information from these two kinds of websites, you can either go directly to the websites and search for the information there, or you can use a search engine to find the information. For example, if you want to find articles on turbines from the NASA website you would enter this into Google: “site:http://www.nasa.gov turbines”. This would find turbine related webpages on the NASA website. The general format here is: “site:(website URL) (search term)”.
Another technique is to only search for PDF documents. Peer reviewed papers and journals are often in PDF format. You can search for these by entering this into Google: “filetype:pdf (search term)”. But again, check the authors and see who they work for. It’s generally better to have authors who don’t have a conflict of interest, such as those who work for private companies.
At Homework Help USA, we have access to the most reliable online sources. So when you have a job you need done that requires a lot of good source material, such as a research paper or essay, we have that available. You can be sure that the content we create is both properly sourced and properly cited according to the format you need. Get in touch with us today.
How to evaluate website content. (2015, August 4). The University of Edinburgh. Retrieved August 24, 2015, from http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/library-museum-gallery/finding-resources/library-databases/databases-overview/evaluating-websites