Social Welfare and Justice: Web Sites

Print and online resources in Social Welfare and Justice.
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Evaluating Websites

Lack of systematic quality control means critical evaluation of Web sites is crucial. When evaluating web resources, consider:

  • Authority: Is the author or site sponsor clearly identified? Can you find credentials and contact information?
  • Objectivity: Is the site's purpose clear? Is it directed toward a specific audience?
  • Coverage: Are the topics covered clear? In depth? Balanced? Are ideas and opinions backed up by evidence?
  • Accuracy: Are sources cited? Can you verify accuracy of facts and other information with other sources in the field?
  • Currency: Are the dates included in the website? Is the information current, or at least still relevant for the site's and your purpose?

Taken from: Ramage, Bean and Johnson. The Allyn and Becon Guide to Writing. 5th Ed. customized for Marquette University. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2009: 602.

Where to Start

The Internet is filled with an enormous quantity of information and a variety of search engines to locate that information.  Each search engine only indexes a small part of the world wide web so a good practice is to search in a variety of sources.  Which sources you use depends on your topic and needs.

For background on a topic

For reliable background on a topic try an established encyclopedia or similar reference site Reference Sources: Encyclopedias, Dictionaries...

General Subject Area

Try one or more general search engine

Specific Subject

Try a Directory of sites pre-selected according to relevance and other criteria

Very Specific or Unusual Subject

Try one of these Specialty Search Engines.