Research Help

Searching for and Evaluating Web Resources

Locating Web Resources

There is a wide variety of general information text and media available on the Internet.  Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Excite, or Alta Vista can be used to search the web with keywords. Use the Web to locate government information; graphics, images, and slides; information about and by associations, organizations, and agencies; news stories; and traffic and weather reports. Material may come from universities and research institutes, consumer groups, commercial companies, and individuals.

While abstracts and/or full-text for newspapers, magazine, and journal articles can be found when doing broad, generic searches on the Web, this is not the most efficient or precise way to locate this type of material. It is better to restrict these types of searches to resources such as Medline that specialize in indexing these articles.

Keyword Searching

Keyword searching is useful for finding information on a particular topic or answers to specific questions. Choose a search engine, then enter words in the search box to search for relevant Web pages.

Evaluating Quality in Web Sites

Users should always consider the authenticity, usefulness, and timeliness of the information contained on Web sites found through a general search.  The following questions may be useful:

  • Who developed and maintains the site?
  • Are they authorities on the subject?
  • What are their credentials?
  • How often is the information updated?
  • Is there a date for the latest revision listed on the home page?
  • How relevant is the information to your particular needs?
  • Does it only contain local information or can the information be generalized to your situation?

More Information

More further information on evaluating Web sites is available on the following Web pages: