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MCOM 600: Research Methods Seminar

Evaluating Internet Resources

The Internet can provide a valuable source of information. Check out the University Library's Fact-Checking News Guide for in-depth strategies to critically think about the authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and coverage of the information you find. For more information check out the resources below to support you in effectively reviewing internet sources. 

Stanford University's Lateral Reading and Civic Online Reasoning resources


SIFT (The Four Moves)

Steps to take every time when coming across an unfamiliar claim or source.

Fair: How to Check Bias in the News Media


Check, Please! Starter Course

Free online course to learn how to fact check and source check in five simple lessons.

Evaluating Websites

In this video you will learn: How to determine if a website is a good source for your assignment.

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.)

Configure Google Scholar to Library Resources

Google Scholar offers the ability to link directly to University Library resources. Enabling this feature will allow you to search in Google Scholar and obtain the full text of articles and other electronic materials carried by the University Library. You only need to set up this configuration once for each computer you use in order to retrieve University Library resources through Google Scholar. See Using Google Scholar and Library Resources for instructions on configuring Google Scholar and Library Resources.

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