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Popular Culture - Library Research Guide: Websites

Guide to researching popular culture using library and open Web resources

Search Engines

Search engines, like Google and Bing, give you access to everything that is on the web--the good, the bad, and the ugly.  If you want to narrow your search results to resources that are generally more reliable, use the advanced search feature for the search engine.  Using the advanced search feature, you can generally designate which types of websites you want to limit your search to by specifying the domain(s) (website extensions) you'd like to search.  For example, the domains of .gov or .edu.

Google Advanced Search - Information on educational and governmental websites tend to have more reliable information. 

In the advance search, along with your search terms, enter .edu or .gov in the box labeled "Search within a site or domain:". 

Internet Research: What's Credible?

Evaluating Websites

The quality of the information you find on the Web varies tremendously so it is always a good idea to check the information against another source. As with all information resources, whether in print or on the Internet, you evaluate its quality based on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy (Is it free from mistakes and errors?)
  • Authority (What are the qualifications of the author?)
  • Objectivity (Is there any strong bias?)
  • Currency (Is the information up to date?)
  • Coverage (To what extent is the topic explored?)

That's just the basics.  Learn more!

Tutorials on Evaluation Criteria

CRAAP Test (CSU Chico)

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