Why use websites?

  • They can be a good source of information that’s difficult to find elsewhere.
  • They can provide the latest information (breaking news).
  • They can be a good source of quick facts, government information, and statistics.

Things to consider

The web contains an enormous amount of information. Not all of it is reliable. Make sure to look at your search results critically to assess whether a website is providing you with quality information that comes from knowledgeable people.

Ask yourself: who put up the information, when was it put up, why is it there, and is it possible to verify the information with another source?

Before you start to search, take the time to read over the 6 Criteria for Websites put together by the Dalhousie University Libraries. Be prepared to hunt for the answers. You may need to look at both the top and the bottom of the web page, find the About or Home pages, or truncate back the URL address.

Tip:  Sometimes, you will land on a page containing little information about the website hosting it. In those cases, it can be hard to evaluate it as a source.

To find out more, try going to the address box at the top of your browser. Delete all characters after the last slash ( / ) and press the “Enter” key to see if you can discover more information about the site. Repeat this process for each slash ( / ) in the address.

Searching

Remember to identify the keywords for your research topic before you begin. For more precise searching, try using the advanced search page of a search engine.

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