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The pitfalls of online searching

Why Be Careful when researching online?

  • There is often no review process for information posted online-- information may not be accurate
  • Anyone can publish anything on the Web, so you may be viewing inaccurate information presented by a non-expert
  • Paywalls! Not all information on the Web is free. 
  • Information on the Web is often not organized well--making searching time consuming and sometimes ineffective
  • Most information on the Web is not permanent

For information on how to find quality, scholarly websites and how to choose good sources online, visit the Evaluating Resources page.

Using Web Resources


When using Web resourcse you MUST make sure that you evaluate each source for accuracy, currency, authority, objectivity, and coverage. Check out the Evaluating Resources page for more information.

You don't want to wade through millions of Web pages looking for that one speck of gold. By using a few tricks, you can focus your searches relatively easily to those authoritative, reliable sources you want to use.  

Use key search terms - Use the same search terms you used successfully to find books and articles.  

USAGov LogoKnow your search tool - Use advanced search features to control your search. For example you can limit your search in Google to just search government or educational Web sites by limiting to a specific domain like .GOV or .EDU. One place to find U.S. Government information is through