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Evaluating Scientific Information (if you're not an expert): Home

tips for critically evaluating scientific research articles and news reports about research

Using this Guide

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Where do we find scientific information online?

What are some of the types of sources we find when we search the Internet?

Internet-only Sources:

  • Web sites: Most of the information on the Internet is distributed via Web sites. Web sites vary widely in quality of information and validity of sources.
  • Weblogs / Blogs: Blogs are a type of interactive journal where writers post and readers respond. They vary widely in quality of information and validity of sources. For example, many prestigious journalists and public figures may have blogs, which may be more credible than most other blogs.
  • Message boards, Discussion lists, and Chat rooms: Discussion lists, chat rooms, and message boards exist for all kinds of disciplines both in and outside of the university. However, plenty of the boards that exist are rather unhelpful and poorly researched.
  • Multimedia: The Internet has a multimedia resources including online broadcasts and news, images, audio files, and interactive Web sites.


Traditional Sources:

  • Articles from online magazines, journals, newspapers, newsletters and more. 
  • Books in online formats (pdf, e-book, etc.)


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