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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Student Instruction

Searching the Web

Using Web Sources for Research

There are thousands of hoax Web sites out there. However, even “real” Web sites can be unreliable for the purposes of academic research, which requires that sources meet a higher level of scholarly authority than is required for casual information seeking.

If you want to use the Web for research, use the following questions and hints to evaluate sites.

Authority: look for credentials/”proof” of authority on a given topic

Reliability: look for academic and non-profit sites

Timeliness: depending on the subject-matter, being up-to-date might be essential

Content & Appearance: Look for sources, good writing, etc.

If you do use a Web site as a resource: