Web sites can be sources of great information...but how do you determine what is okay to use in academic papers?
Here are 4 considerations as you assess web sites for use in your assignments.
Author: Who wrote the section, and what are their credentials? What larger organization are they affiliated with? If I google them, what do I find? What is the parent web site?
Bias: Can you identify an angle/slant/bias in the article or on the larger web site? What is the purpose of the study or content—to prove something to a particular group? Can you corroborate the claims with at least 2 other sources?
Content: Is the source accurate? Are there basic mistakes in grammar, dead links, or spelling? When was it posted or last updated or published? Does it contain claims that contradict things you know to be true or even other claims within the article itself?
Support: Does the content have citations or sources? Can you verify the sources? Can you contact the author or organization?
Search over 250 religion journals related to scripture studies, systematic theology, practical ministries, and cognate disciplines for which full text is freely available on the Internet. While most of the journals are in English, some are in other languages, so non-English searches are appropriate.
The Wabash Center has published an "Internet Guide to Religion" which is an annotated guide to selected electronic resources. You can browse by Subject, Person, Material Types, or you can type a keyword in the search box in the left column. Excellent source for a variety of religious topics.
Voted Best of Free Reference Web Sites in Religious Studies by RUSA, the Reference and User Services Association of Librarians and Libraries, this source combines a plethora of free resources, statistics, lists, and other data on religions from around the world. From Online Modules to survey and view cross-national religious data, to denominational profiles, syllabi, and over 600 data collections on religion available for immediate review and download. This is a comprehensive resource and deserves some of your time.
The CDRI database provides access to digital images of woodcuts, photographs, slides, papyri, coins, maps, postcards, manuscripts, lithographs, sermons, shape-note tune books, and various forms of Christian art, architecture, and iconography. Divided into several different collections by topic.
Offers more than 6,000 articles and chapters in full texts by recognized religious scholars. Topics include Old and New Testament, Theology, Ethics, History and Sociology of Religion, Communication and Cultural Studies, Pastoral Care, Counseling, Homiletics, Worship, Missions and Religious Education.