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?
The premier online scholarly refereed journal dedicated to the study of communication, this journal is published by the American Communication Association. Current issues and archives, back to the first volume in 1997-1998, are available in full-text HTML pages.
There are several free web resources that are relevant for Communication Arts research.
Their mission: "Since its inception, back in 1964, IPS has believed in the role of information as a precondition for lifting communities out of poverty and marginalization. This belief is reflected in our historic mission: 'giving a voice to the voiceless' - acting as a communication channel that privileges the voices and the concerns of the poorest and creates a climate of understanding, accountability and participation around development, promoting a new international information order between the South and the North."
This web site is a springboard that librarians, students, and researchers can use to find information in the area of communication studies. It is not exhaustive, rather it includes the core or primary resources within each category presented. The resources included within this site were selected by communication studies librarians serving as members of the Association of College and Research Libraries Educational and Behavioral Sciences Section Communication Studies Committee. Categories of interest to students include: Associations & Organizations, Indexes & Abstracts, News Sources, Special Collections, and Subject Guides.
An independent opinion research group that studies attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues, the Center's web site provides links to Survey reports, Commentaries, Datasets, and discussion of the Center in the News.
Includes studies on reported statistics in an effort to bring quality and reliability to journalism. A non-profit, non-partisan organization, the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) has become a much-valued resource on the use and abuse of science and statistics in the media. Their goals are to correct scientific misinformation in the media resulting from bad science, politics, or a simple lack of information or knowledge; and to act as a resource for journalists and policy makers on major scientific issues and controversies.