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Research in the Social Sciences  

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2015 URL: http://cabrillo.libguides.com/researchsocialsciences Print Guide

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GOOGLE SEARCH TOOLS

Advanced Google Search can help you focus your search:

  • Search domains:  .edu, .gov, .org
  • Search pages updated recently
  • Search a phrase:  "Postpartum Depression"
  • Search a region:  Syria

Google Scholar

  • search scholarly books & articles

Google News

  • search online news sources

 

WIKIPEDIA: PROS & CONS

Pros Cons
Worlds largest encyclopedia with millions of entries on obscure topics Articles are not edited or peer-reviewed
Great place to start & identify keywords

Many instructors will not allow Wikipedia citations because they are not not edited or reviewed

Updated regularly, sometimes by the second Articles get vandalized for ideological reasons or just for fun
Can include excellent references & external links Can be skewed or biased -- based on authors interests, beliefs, opinions
Anyone can edit Wikipedia -- the people's encyclopedia! Anyone can edit Wikipedia -- no one checks their credentials or agendas

GOOGLE SCHOLAR

 

EVALUATING WEBSITES

Consider the source--Use recognized authorities.  Know who is responsible for the content.

Focus on quality--All Web sites are not created equal.  Does the site have an editorial board? Is the information reviewed before it is posted?

Be a cyberskeptic--Does the site make claims that seem too good to be true? Does the information use deliberately obscure, "scientific" sounding language? Does it promise quick, dramatic, miraculous results?

Look for the evidence--Rely on research, not opinion.  Does the site identify the author? Does it rely on testimonials?

Check for currency--Look for the latest information  Is the information current?

Beware of bias--What is the purpose? Who is providing the funding? Who pays for the site?

Source:  MedlinePlus Guide to Healthy Web Surfing 2014

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