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MUS 125: History of Rock and Roll: Searching the Web

This guide provides information about the UNLV Libraries and resources for finding information about rock and roll.

Finding Credible Web Sites

The web is a great place for finding information. Here are a few pointers to consider as you search the web for your promotional packet information......

  • Is the website signed?  In other words, does someone take responsibility for the content of the website? 
  • Does the author of the website tell you where s/he found the information included on the website? In other words, is there a bibliography or other documentation on the website that you can go to for more information or to verify the information you found?
  • Take a look at the last part of the url. Common endings are .edu (educational), .gov (government), .org (non-profit organizations), .net (networks), and .com (commercial sites). Educational sites are perhaps most trustworthy, while networks (.net) and commercial sites (.com) are most like to contain bad information. You can find good information on .com sites, but you must look carefully at what you have in front of you. For example, Apple Records released most of the Beatles music, and may very well have very useful biographical information on their website. However, Apple Records also is in the business of record sales so web editors for Apple may leave out or edit content to suit their publicity and sales needs.
  • Is the web site updated regularly?  

In short, be very careful about the information you get from websites, and take the time to critically look at what you intend to use. 

Evaluating Information using the CRAP test

Evaluate Sources Based on the Following Criteria: 

Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose/Point of View

  • Currency
    • How recent is the information?
    • How recently has the website been updated?
    • Is it current enough for your topic?
  • Reliability
    • What kind of information is included in the resource?
    • Is content of the resource primarily opinion?  Is is balanced?
    • Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?
  • Authority
    • Who is the creator or author?
    • What are the credentials?
    • Who is the published or sponsor?
    • Are they reputable?
    • What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information?
    • Are there advertisements on the website?
  • Purpose/Point of View
    • Is this fact or opinion?
    • Is it biased?
    • Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?
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