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IS 101: Introductory Research Tips and Review:

Research tips for introduction AND review.

So is an article from a library database a web source?

Web sources = published to the web

  • Three-Four steps: 1: Write content 2: Editing process? 3: Publish to the web 4: You read it online

Other sources you read online, but aren't web sources = published somewhere else first

Six or more steps:

  1. Write content
  2. Publish in publication, usually print
  3. Database buys access to the publication
  4. Library buys access to the database
  5. Library places access on the web
  6. You read it online

Deep Dive into Website Evaluation

Can't get enough of website evaluation?

Deep dive below with me for analysis of websites VERY similar to ones you'll turn up in your online research.

So What Kind of Source is a Website?

A website could be any kind of source--
  • overview to get you started
  • narrow like an article
  • or even in-depth like a book.
A website could be perfectly credible
  • You get to evaluate it to decide. See the How To: Evaluation page
  • NO domain is automatically credible:
    • .com = anyone can have a .com site, is no longer only businesses
    • .org = anyone can have a .org site, is no longer only nonprofits
    • .edu = the pages will be affiliated with an educational institution--but sometimes these are simply student papers
    • .gov = US government pages...traditionally, these are meant to be credible, but you must still evaluate
A website can also be garbage 

Content Aggregators =

  • No original information
    • Lists of link, copied and pasted texts from other sites, no apparent author
    • Tons of ads
Content Farms
  • No verified information
    • Authors have little to no scholarly, experiential, or journalistic credibility
    • Authors are paid by quantity, not quality: they take only a few minutes to write each article
    • Articles are not edited or fact-checked

Unfortunately, none of these websites will actually call themselves "content aggregators" or "content farms," so you have to learn how to recognize the clues and realize for yourself.