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History Research Guide: Open Web Resources

Using Web Sources for Research

Photograph of caution tape.

Anyone can create and post open web content, including but not limited to:

  • you and your friends
  • a researcher
  • a 10-year-old child

Don't always believe what you read!

Many websites are not edited or fact-checked. Be sure to always evaluate any source you find on the open web!

Evaluate Websites for Credibility!

Author: Can you determine who created the site? Is this person reputable? Is there contact information for you to reach the author?

Accuracy: Does the website include references or sources? Can information be verified? Is the site edited as far as grammar and spelling?

Audience: Who is the website created for? Is it appropriate for a college-level paper or project?

Purpose: Why does the website exist? What does the author get out of creating it? Is the website trying to persuade you to buy something or adopt someone else's beliefs?

Date: When was the site created? Updated? Is it recent enough for your paper or project?

Google Scholar

Use your keywords to find scholarly content through Google Scholar! 

Google Search Tips

Use keywords!

  • TRY chicanos and voting   NOT an entire question

Limit by domain!

  • site:.gov chicanos and voting
  • site:.edu chicanos and voting

Limit by website!

  • site:latimes.com chicanos and voting
  • site:votesmart.org chicanos and voting

Try an Advanced Google Search!