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Evaluating Quality Web Sources: Polytechnic Research Sources

This guide should help students properly evaluate web pages and their validity for research projects.

Databases Vs. Googling

 Using Google for academic research can be like drinking unfiltered water, you can drink it, but do you want to???  dirty water

Library resources are "pre-filtered".  Scholarly articles are peer-reviewed, and only the best journals are included in databases.  Books are  hand-picked by librarians based on selection criteria.  Even newspapers and magazines go through an editing process. Google is completely "unfiltered".  Anyone can write anything on the Internet. While googling is no substitute for in-depth research, it is a useful tool for many information needs.                                                                           

Always evaluate your findings and use these techniques for cleaner results.

→Google automatically looks for similar words to the ones you use. Also, don't worry about capitalization.

→Use quotation marks (" ") around a word or phrase to search for that text exactly.
      Example: "circle of life" song

→Use a minus sign (-) before a word to exclude it from your results.
      Example: abuse power -electricity

→Use OR to look for either keyword but not both.
      Example: internship spring OR summer

→Use filetype: to search for a specific type of result.
      Example: "moving checklist" filetype:pdf

→Use define: in front of a word to get a quick definition.
      Example: define: transcendental

→Use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard - when you aren't sure what word is best.
      Example: "a * in the hand"

→Left your calculator at home? Search calculator to access Google's scientific calculator (and others) or just type the equation into the search box.
      Example: 27 * 1342

→On a website that doesn't have a search box? Use site: and the URL in Google instead. Or find a particular tpe of page host, such as a government (site:gov)
      Example: "academic progress"                                                                                                                                                               

For more help, try:

Library Resouces

Try these databases for credible  Library Information

Try the Libraries Catalog for Print sources.

Library Catalog

Polytechnic School Libraries | 1030 E. California Blvd. | Pasadena, CA 91106 | 626-396-6441 |