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Anthropology

Website Suggestions

Evaluating Web Sources

Once you've found a good website, you need to use your critical thinking skills to evaluate the information:

The following guides may also be useful for you as you research your subject:

Search tips for finding quality websites

TIP #1:  USE SITES RECOMMENDED by sources that have editors, professors, scholars, scientists, or librarians who review and select the best sites. Recommended links lists can be found in these research guides created by our librarians, and online databases such as Britannica, CQ Researcher, CREDO Reference.

TIP #2:  USE FORMAT TERMS when using a search engine such as Google:

  • Video, movie, streaming media, webcam
  • Audio, listen, hear, transcript, recording, MP3, interview, podcast, lecture, presentation
  • Document, research report, academic, scholarly, journal, statistics, pdf, “white paper” “policy statement” “environmental impact report” “primary source” summary, abstract, overview, history, background, chronology, timeline       
  • Encyclopedia, dictionary, handbook, manual, “how to”

TIP #3:  USE SEARCH COMMANDS, or use the advanced search:

  • Google Advanced Search: ...................  http://www.google.com/advanced_search
  • “post traumatic stress disorder”............. Quotation marks around a phrase finds that exact phrase
  • +women  +careers  +nontraditional....... Plus mark requires words to occur on each page retrieved
  • +surfing –internet................................. Minus mark will exclude sites with marked words
  • +medic?  +”heart disease”.................... Wildcard symbol finds all words that begin with those letters
  • +medic*  +”heart disease”..................... Some systems use the ? and some use the * just try both
  • Either medic? or medic*........................ Finds medic, medics, medicine, medicines, medications, etc.

TIP #4:  USE SITE SEARCH to limit to .edu, .gov, or to specific websites:

  • “bird flu” site:.edu                            finds the exact phrase “bird flu” only in .edu websites
  • bird flu site:www.who.int.en            finds the words bird flu on the World Health Organization website
  • mental health statistics site:.gov     finds the words mental health statistics only in .gov websites

TIP #5:  USE LOTS OF SEARCH WORDS that relate to your topic. Think of synonyms, variant forms, and plurals. Consider what words might be used by journalists or popular media, as compared to scientists, specialists, or researchers. Remember, you are searching a HUGE database with all kinds of content. Maximize your chances for success by including as many search words as possible. Some examples:

  • protest demonstration unrest march riot police government civil disobedience
  • women woman gender careers occupations jobs discrimination income salary salaries wages
  • teenagers adolescents teens young adults youth social cultural norms pressures problems issues
  • crime criminals violent offenders prevention recidivism treatment education programs

TIP #6:  TRY OTHER SEARCH ENGINES. Each Internet search engine uses its own proprietary search system, and some are better with certain types of search than others. Most will allow you to use the same search commands outlined in this guide. Engines listed below are the Top Ten most popular search engines in the world, by 2018 market share.

  1. Google commands 75% market share of all searches worldwide
  2. Bing is under 10%, but often better for finding images
  3. Yahoo provides email accounts, finance and marketing tools, and a news aggregator
  4. Ask.com, based on Q&A format with answers from other users or polls
  5. AOL.com, still popular due to ownership of popular blogs and infotainment sites
  6. Baidu, in Chinese (only useful if you know Chinese!)
  7. Wolframalpha, the “Computational Knowledge Engine” for math and science
  8. DuckDuckGo, the only engine that does not track users and usage
  9. Internet Archive, aka “The Wayback Machine” archives historical sites and older versions of current sites
  10. Yandex, in Russian (only useful if you know Russian!)