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TFD Theatre, Film, and Dance: Internet

Wikipedia Uses and Caveats

Wikipedia is a popular, collaboratively written, online encyclopedia.  Anyone is free to edit Wikipedia, so the information it contains is not necessarily accurate, unbiased, or reliable.  Use of Wikipedia for research is therefore highly controversial.  Nonetheless, Wikipedia articles can be very useful in the beginning stages of conducting research online by providing links to reliable external sources.  It is advisable to scrutinize the reliability of any information presented in Wikipedia articles by confirming its accuracy with another source. 

Google Scholar

Google is just one of many search engines that combs the Internet for useful websites. To reduce the number of hits, try using GoogleScholar. Find it by conducting a Google search; then click on More and then choose Scholar. Use this in the Library and you will notice that Full-Text@LIU Libraries indicates something found in our collections.

From home or other remote sites, use this link to Google Scholar. From this link you will need to enter your University ID and password to retrieve relevant, authoritative sites, with links to articles that are Full-Text@LIU Libraries.

Remember that you, as the researcher, will still need to evaluate internet sites for their authority and relevancy to your research.

**Note that Google Scholar's content is science and math heavy...therefore, it is not recommended for research in the arts and humanities.  Google Scholar's search capabilities are also significantly more limited than those provided by subscription databases.** 

Finding and evaluating websites

To search the Internet usually you rely on Search Engines to locate the information you need. Once you find a website you want to use in your research, you must evaluate it.

Use the CRAAP Test for evaluating Internet sites and apply that to websites you plan to use.  Look at the currency, reliability, accuracy, authority and purpose of each site.

Look at the URL - is it a person's page? Notice if there is a name in the url. What type of domain codes is used, e.g. .gov, .mil, .edu or .org.

Check out the currency of the page - when was it last updated? And if there are links, do they all work?

Who wrote the page? If it's a person, what are the credentials? If an agency, are they taking responsibility for the content?

To delve a bit more, where did the author/publisher get the information from and is it accurately presented?

Are there links that talk about the creators of the page, e.g. "About us", "Hosted by", "Philosophy", etc.

The onus is on you to evaluate websites if you choose to use them in your research, so be sure you've reviewed them for currency, accuracy, authority, reliability, etc. When using the Library's databases this is not a requirement. In these databases, with the click of a button you can choose to retrieve scholarly, peer-reviewed articles from academic journals.

Critically Analyzing Information Sources (Cornell)