There are times during your research when you need to look further afield than the Library SmartSearch. The obvious place to look for information is the Internet, so this page offers some handy hints and advice on using the Web to find the information that you need.
There are many approaches to searching the Web. The route you take and the search tools you choose will depend on the kind of information you are looking for. This page should offer some insight into different ways of thinking about web sources.
Web sources have many advantages:
This is why using resources such as journal articles can complement the information that you find on the Web, and vice versa.
Anyone can put information on the web, so how can we tell if it's reliable and accurate?
Think about these questions:
Improve your search!
There are a number of ways you can explain more clearly to Google exactly what you're looking for. Use Google Advanced Search or learn some of the more useful operators:
The following web sites will give you more information:
Not finding enough academic resources with a simple Google search?
Try searching in different places...
Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, written collaboratively by anyone who wishes to contribute. Many people are constantly editing Wikipedia, making thousands of changes per hour. For more information, see About Wikipedia.
Anyone with access to the internet can edit almost every page, and this is both the strength and the weakness of the site:
Wikipedia is not considered to be a suitably authoritative source of information for academic study.
It is not a good idea to reference Wikipedia in your assignments. If you choose to use Wikipedia as a starting point for your topic, however, the article will introduce you to the key vocabulary for the topic (useful for further searching), you can read the comments in the "Talk" tab to get an idea of how controversial aspects of the topic are, and the references will guide you to other sources of information on the topic (but please also look elsewhere, such as Library SmartSearch!).
For guidance on how to evaluate the quality of Wikipedia articles, see Evaluating Wikipedia article quality.
Social media can include any of the following:
All of these types of social media have their own merits and drawbacks when searching for information. As the field is still growing, there is an abundance of ways to use these sites.
Some sites you could use in your studies or research include:
Follow these links for information on how use social media in your studies or research: