We live in an information rich age: and can easily find lots of information on a wide variety of topics, in a wide variety of formats.
However, there is a lot of nonsense, jokes, outdated information, manipulated information, available (both in print and online. Ttry to use the following criteria help you examine the reliability, relevance, and usefulness of what you find, read, listen to, or watch.
|.gov||an official government site||http://www.usa.gov/
|.ac .edu||an educational organization||http://www.ox.ac.uk/
|.org||mostly non-profit organizations||http://www.unicef.org/
|a commercial organization||http://www.amazon.com/
Here's some resources to help: (Hat tip to the Idaho State University's Research Path Tutorial: Evaluation)
Search engine characteristics:
Tips for effective searching:
This table lists some common search operators used in Google. Google’s default behavior is to find web documents that include all the words you entered.
|OR||Search for either word||education OR technology|
|" "||Find an exact phase or word||"global warming"|
|-||Exclude words from a search||"star wars" -movie|
|+||A word or phrase preceded by a + must be present in pages retrieved||+"youth problems"|
|define:||Find definition of a given word||define:library|
|filetype:||Find a specific file type||democracy filetype:ppt
|*||Fill in the missing information||The "334" new academic structure *|
|site:||Search only the selected site or domain||"education policy" site:gov.hk|
|Resources||What Is It||Mode of Access|
|Library Catalog on PowerSearch
Quick help on finding resources for course projects or specific topics.
|Cover full-text or citations and abstracts of different research literature including books, journal and magazine articles, news articles, statistics, patents and standards.||Most databases require subscription; access is restricted to HKUST students and staff|
|Library Catalog||Databases||Search Engines|
Find and locate materials collected by the Library.
Search at macro level, i.e., find books, journals, magazines, DVDs, but not chapters or articles published inside a book, journal or magazine
|Find journal articles, conference papers, book chapters, reviews, statistics, etc.||Any information on the Web|
|Link to e-version, if available||Many provide full text articles or books, or link to full text using||May or may not provide full text access.|
|Open Access||Require subscription $$$||Open Access|
|Good quality control since the library materials are selected by librarians or recommended by faculty and students, based on their relevancy to the university's research and teaching needs.||Quality control as databases are selected by librarians, based on:
||No quality control, anyone can publish on the Web.
Information is not stable; url and content may change or disappear.