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BHS Library Day

This guide was created to provide resources to support the BHS Library Day.

Can I Use Web Sites for Research?

For this particular class and this particular assignment the goal of the session is to point you to academic tools and resources. The CARS evaluation criteria is a good way to assess whether or not to use a web site. And it is also a good measure for evaluating articles and books, too.

How to Evaluate Information

Here is an easy way to remember what to look for when evaluating the information that you find. These questions will help you assess what you might find most useful.

CARS: Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness, Support

https://www.iconfinder.com/

Credibility. Is this source trustworthy? What are the author’s credentials? Is he or she known or a respected authority on this topic?  Is there evidence of quality control?   Goal: an authoritative source, a source that supplies some good evidence that allows you to trust it.

Accuracy. Is the informatio up to date, factual, detailed, exact, comprehensive? What is the intended audience and purpose? Does it reflect intentions of completeness and accuracy. Goal: a source that is correct today (not yesterday), a source that gives the whole truth.

Reasonableness.  Is the presentation fair, balanced, objective, reasoned? Can you find that the author has no conflict of interest? Is there an absence of fallacies or slanted tone. Goal: a source that engages the subject thoughtfully and reasonably, concerned with the truth.

Support:  Does this information provide background sources or references? Is there contact information for the author? Are claims supported, documentated and corroborated?. Goal: a source that provides convincing evidence for the claims made, a source you can triangulate (that is are you able to find at least two other sources (non web) that support it). 

taken from Virtual Salt. Robert Harris http://www.virtualsalt.com/evalu8it.htm

Statistical Sources

Supporting material such as statistics will enhance and strengthen your research paper. There are some excellent statistical sources both print and web. Here are some suggestions:

  • Statista (found on the links to articles page)
  • Statistical Abstracts of the United States: REF 317 Un 4  Note: individual tables are also accessible through Google but sometimes are tricky to identify and may not be the most current information.)
  • Many government agencies provide excellent supporting statistics and information: (Centers for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov)
  • Pew Research Center: http://www.pewresearch.org/topics/
  • Gallup Research Polls--Public Opinion: REF 301.1543  Note: Lexis/Nexis Database also has access to Gallup Poll News Service. You can search specifically by that title.
  • Web sites of reputable national or international organizations will often provide statistical data. For example: World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/topics/en/ 

Using these and other statistical resources are worth the effort.  Linda or someone at the ASK desk will be able to help you find the supporting data that you need.