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Annotated Bibliographies: A How to Guide: Web Search

A resource for all things annotated bib. To be used specifically for Ms. Sepcie's and Ms. Wallerstein's

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Find out how to make web searching work for you! Use tools to narrow your results and identify reliable sources of information from the internet.

Ms. Mayo's Tutorials

Evaluating Web Sources

Evaluating Web Sources

Don't ask whether its a good source, but whether there is a better source available

  • Currency When was this information published?
    • The field of social sciences is constantly changing, along with teen culture and issues. Make sure that you are locating the most current info for your subject
  • Relevance Is this connected to my issue?
    • In order for the information to be relevant, it must connect to your topic or issue, as well as address any connections between the theme and your textual analysis
  • Authority Who is publishing this information? Are they qualified to speak on the subject?
    • Typically a web source will have an author or organization as its publisher. Check the "about us"  or Google their biography section in order to find out the qualifications.
    • Do background research about the author - are they a qualified historian in the field? Have they published and been peer reviewed in this topic before? 
  • Accuracy Does the information make sense? Are similar sources saying the same thing?
    • Although advice and counseling are relative, most experts should agree on the same ideas based on research. Check multiple sources before confirming an idea as true. 
  • Purpose Why is this information being published? There there an inherit bias or underlying ulterior motive?
    • Many times websites are trying to manipulate you into believing a course of action or product can solve the issue. Make sure that you identify any bias by examining who is releasing this information and carefully reading it. 

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search Tips

Locating the full text of an article

Abstracts are freely available for most of the articles. Alas, reading the entire article may require a subscription. Here's a few things to try:

  1. click a link labeled [PDF] to the right of the search result;
  2. click "All versions" under the search result and check out the alternative sources;
  3. click "Related articles" or "Cited by" under the search result to explore similar articles.
  4. If it's JSTOR article, check to see if the full-text is accessible through our VHS account.

Getting better answers

  • If you're new to the subject, it may be helpful to pick up the terminology from secondary sources. E.g., a Wikipedia article for "overweight" might suggest a Scholar search for "pediatric hyperalimentation".

  • If the search results are too specific for your needs, check out what they're citing in their "References" sections. Referenced works are often more general in nature.

  • Similarly, if the search results are too basic for you, click "Cited by" to see newer papers that referenced them. These newer papers will often be more specific.

  • Explore! There's rarely a single answer to a research question. Click "Related articles" or "Cited by" to see closely related work, or search for author's name and see what else they have written.

Source: Google Scholar