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COMS 312: Health Communication

Evaluating Internet Resources

The Internet can provide a valuable source of information. Check out the University Library's Reading Laterally for Fact Checking page for in-depth strategies to critically think about the authority, bias, accuracy, currency, and coverage of the information you find. For more information see the resources on this page to support you in effectively reviewing internet sources. 

How To Use Wikipedia Wisely

Searching the Internet

Advanced Google Searching

Google offers many search techniques to help refine results, similar to what can be done in a library database. For example:

Enclose keywords in quotes to search an exact phrase: "san fernando valley"

Enclose in parentheses and separate with OR to retrieve any of those keywords in the results: (csun OR "california state university northridge")

Add a minus sign to remove webpages containing a keyword or phrase: -parking

Limit search to specific website:

Limit search to specific domain:

Limit results by date of last update: From the results screen, click Search Tools and select time period from the Anytime menu

Get definitions or explanations of terms: define keyword/phrase, i.e., define "fiscal cliff"

Watch the Advanced Google Searching video for more help.

See also: Web Search Help for more tips and tricks for searching Google

More Search Engines

Google Scholar - (searches scholarly journals and other academic sources.) 

Google Products - (Google offers many productivity tools as well as other specialized search engines.)

SearchEngineWatch - (There's more to searching the Internet than Google! This is a comprehensive directory of search engines by type.)

Online Verification Skills




Mike Caulfield, Washington State University


  • STOP! 
  • Investigate the source 
  • Find better coverage
  • Trace claims, quotes, and media to the original context

Fact Checking

For additional information about Fact Checking, see the Library's specialized guide. The following online resources can assist in checking facts and information for news reporting stories. This is a partial list of fact checking sites to get you started.

Accuracy in Media

The Annenberg Public Policy Center

AP Fact Check

BBC News Reality Check

Center for Media and Democracy

Is it Legit? MediaWise videos 

Media Bias/Fact Check


The Poynter Institute/Fact Checking Resources


Reuters Fact Check


Truth or Fiction?

USA Today Fact Check

Washington Post Fact Checker

Click Restraint

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