Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

For information on library services during Fall 2020 go to our COVID 19 guide

Cinema, TV, & Media Production Research: Web links

Collected sources of use in CTM research

Open-access journals: Scholarly sources on the open web

Guidelines for using free Web sources in research

Finding and Evaluating Websites

  • Make sure that your assignment allows use of websites as cited sources.  (If not, you can still use good Web sources such as Wikipedia to gather background and as "pointers" to lead you toward sanctioned sources.)
  • Use Google’s advanced search to limit to more reliable domains (e.g. .gov and .edu).  A guide to using this powerful free-Web tool is here.
  • Look for contact and date information somewhere on the page (usually the bottom).  It won't always exist.

 The amount of content available on the free web is stupefying. But very little of this information has been reviewed for authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, or completeness. The burden of evaluation falls on you, the consumer.

Authority:

  • Is it clear who is responsible for the web page?
  • Is it clear who wrote the material?  Are their credentials clearly stated?
  • If the material is copyrighted, is the name of the copyright holder given?

Accuracy:

  • Are the sources for any factual information clearly listed so that verification is possible?
  • Is the information clear of blatant grammatical, spelling and typographical errors?
  • If there are graphs or charts are they clearly labeled?  Is source information given?

Objectivity:

  • What is the purpose of providing the information?  (Public service, profit, or persuasion)
  • Is the information free of advertising?
  • If there is advertising is it clearly differentiated from the informational content?

Currency:

  • Are there dates on the page indicating when it was written or last revised?
  • Are there indications that the material is kept current?

Coverage:

  • Is there an indication that the page has been completed and is not still under construction?

 (These criteria are based on checklists in the book Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web by Jan Alexander and Marsha Ann Tate)

Subject Guide

Dan Stafford's picture
Dan Stafford
Contact:
Rohrbach Library 100A
(610) 683-4482