MC3Lib-Research-4-FindWebsites

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Tips on finding better websites for your research. From the Libraries of Montgomery County Community College. Updated 2-27-12 by librarians Mary Beth Parkinson and Jerry Yarnetsky. Contact us at jyarnets-at-mc3.edu

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MC3Lib-Research-4-FindWebsites

  1. 1. MC3 Libraries Finding & Evaluating Websites
  2. 2. MC3 Libraries Better Google results Basic searches are oriented toward consumers. Instead, let’s find sites written by experts in their field. Use “site:” to narrow results just to the area you want to search.
  3. 3. MC3 Libraries For example, search only governmental sites using “site:.gov” Now we have expert results from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institute for Mental Health.
  4. 4. MC3 Libraries “Site:” can be very specific… We can use “site:ptsd.va.gov” to search just within the National Center for PTSD at the VA.
  5. 5. MC3 Libraries One of your keywords may be “trauma.” Here are results searching just the National Center for PTSD… “site:ptsd.va.gov trauma”
  6. 6. MC3 Libraries Variations include… • Site:.edu for university/college based websites • Site:.org from organizations • Site:un.org search just within United Nations websites
  7. 7. MC3 Libraries More Google Tips… • Exact phrase: Search an exact phrase by putting words in quotes. “post traumatic stress disorder” • And: Google assumes the word ‘and’ between words • Not: The ‘not’ in Google is a minus sign with no space before the word… “-earthquakes” • OR: The word ‘OR’ must be all caps. • Synonyms: Put a tilde before the word such as “~stress” The tilde key is at the top left corner of the keyboard.
  8. 8. MC3 Libraries Try searching these sites… • ipl2.org: Internet Public Library only presents sites selected by experts. • GoDuckGo.com: New search engine with fewer ads and better results. You can use “site:” here too. • WolframAlpha.org: Use this site to find statistics and facts.
  9. 9. MC3 Libraries Need photos, audio or video for your presentation or projects Try search.creativecommons.org where you can freely use the materials resulting from your search. Keep an eye on the license. Many creators want their name listed or may limit commercial use and that’s only fair!
  10. 10. MC3 Libraries 4 things to look for when you evaluate a website
  11. 11. MC3 Libraries Author • Who is the author? • What experience and/or education do they have? • Who is publishing the article? Are they reputable? What is the organization’s purpose?
  12. 12. MC3 Libraries Purpose • Why is the author writing the article? • Sharing opinion or research? • Objective or biased? • What audience is the author writing for? Professional or general?
  13. 13. MC3 Libraries Relevance • Pick articles appropriate to your topic • Does the article support your paper? • When was the article written? • Is the source appropriate? • Is the author sharing their sources? • Do their examples support their purpose?
  14. 14. MC3 Libraries Source Types • Primary – Original • Original creations or firsthand views of history including letters, photos, art, videos, autobiographies. • Secondary – Filtered • Articles, reviews, biographies • Tertiary – Indexed • Almanacs, guidebooks, databases, manuals
  15. 15. MC3 Libraries Need Help? Visit, Call, IM or Email Brendlinger Library (215) 641-6594 West Campus Library (610) 718-1864 IM a librarian refdesk@mc3.edu

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