Find sources on the web
Library databases are invaluable when doing academic research. Nevertheless, reputable information sources do exist on the web as well. Keep in mind that all information sources, whether from a scholarly outlet or from the open web, need to be evaluated. Click here for tips on Evaluting Sources using the RCBCA Test.
General search engines are useful, but advanced or specialized search engines, meta searchers, and subject directories can sometimes be even more useful when doing research. Here are some tools to help you find credible information on the web:
Search Engines - general or specialized - compile data using "spiders" and "robots" and create their own indexes of the world wide web from that data.
- Google Advanced Search: you're not searching 'til you use limiters - just trust us on this!
- Google Scholar: a specialized Google Search engine that returns a mix of types of scholarly content from journals, university websites, professional organizations and other scholarly outlets (rarely full-text, but your WWCC Library can help you find the full article when you find a citation here)
- DuckDuckGo: a generalized search engine that promises to protect searcher privacy and give standardized results, thus avoiding the "filter bubble"
- Wolfram Alpha: math and science people love this - (it's a "computational knowledge engine") - also check for stats here
- USA.gov: all United States government, all the time
Meta Searchers/Crawlers search the world wide web by using the indexes from multiple search engines at once.
Subject Directories are created and maintained by human editors who review sources and make decisions about their inclusion in the index based on pre-determined selection criteria.
- Internet Public Library (IPL): links to everything librarians wish you would use from the web
- WWCC Library Class/Assignment Research and Subject Guides: links to resources for specific class assignments or subject areas.
Remember to evaluate sources using the RCBCA (Relevence, Credibility, Bias, Currency, Accuracy) test !!!