The Internet provides access to a wide variety of information. Almost anyone can create a webpage, and that creates a huge problem for serious researchers. How do you judge the quality of the sources you find on the Internet?
Most print resources such as books, magazines, and newspapers are edited or reviewed before publication. Most information on the Internet is NOT reviewed. You must evaluate the information you find online. If you cannot determine the quality of a particular source, consult other resources such as books, magazines and encyclopedias, or consult a professor or librarian to find out more about the topic.
When viewing a webpage, follow the five traditional points in evaluating print resources:
There are three types of sources:
1) Primary Sources
2) Secondary Sources
3) Tertiary Sources
Each field of study has its own world of sources, conventions, and vocabularies. The list that follows is not all inclusive, but will help you to identify primary sources in your own discipline. In general, personal correspondence and diaries or journals are considered to be primary sources by all disciplines. If you are unsure that a source is considered primary by your discipline, ask your professor or a reference librarian for assistance.