When you search for information online (through a search engine) think about your search strategy and use appropriate keywords. Be specific with your keywords.
Take extra care in checking the reliability of your sources. Look for websites published/endorsed by official industry organisations, authorities, professionals, academics and research organisations in your subject area, etc. You need to use academic and formal sources of information.
Whenever you use a website think about the following:
- When was it written? Is it current or historical?
- Who wrote it (individual, organisation)? Does that make a difference to issues such as bias? Is the author an expert or a lay person?
- Why was it produced? Is it 'official' or research based information eg from a Government website, or is it a personal view?
- Which country did it come from? Is the information applicable to just one country/continent or many?
- What purpose was it written for? To present research findings? To educate? To influence? Is there an agenda or bias to the website? Is the information referenced and substantiated?
- How is it written? Formal or informal style? For professionals, academics or the general public? This might affect the accuracy of the information.
To help you we have listed some key websites, checked by our Librarians and Academics, that you should be making use of to aid your study.
Before you start why not have a look at these guides to Web and Internet searching for your subject: