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ISP-117 Interdisciplinary Science Program (Draper): Scholarly Web Sites

Fall 2017

Scholarly Web Sites

A gateway site gathers Web resources for a wide variety of sources/topics, and can lead you more quickly to sites that you might find helpful. Professionals employed by these gateways evaluate, organize and describe the content featured through them.

Google and Wikipedia can get you started, but don't stop there! The websites below can lead you to results that you wouldn't find by randomly searching the Web.

You can track the information you find on the Web with Zotero.

Evaluating Web Resources

You can find lots of useful content for your research published on the Web. Some general guidelines will help you to evaluate the content and then decide how it fits your own research goals:

  • what form does the content you've found take--a scholarly article, an article in a newspaper or other popular publication, commercial Web site, blog posting, etc.? is it a form that is appropriate for supporting an argument in a college-level research paper?
  • what person or institution takes responsibility for the content? is it easy to determine who is responsible? 
  • what is the authority of the responsible person or institution in relation to the content? do credentials or organizational mission support the author's credibility (that is, do you trust the author)?
  • what bias can you determine in the content? do you believe that the content is accurate? would you describe the author's approach as objective?
  • is the site that you've found the content on up to date? when was it last updated?

Your evaluation of the material you find on the Web will provide you with an understanding of the diverse approaches to any subject--from personal blog postings to in-depth scholarly research articles to multimedia cultural exhibitions. When you assess the content you find on the Web, you can then decide how to incorporate particular types of content into your research paper.

Google It!

For articles, try Google Scholar.  For books and documents, try Google Books.  Use the Advanced Search feature to refine your results.