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IDS 240: Interdisciplinary Research Methods: Research Tips

This guide provides IDS 240 students assistance with locating research materials, statistics and creating a bibliography

Evaluate website - is it credible?

Evaluate a website: Is it credible?

Things to notice:

  • Does the site have an author or organization responsible for content? If not, where and how does the site obtain their information?

  • Can you discover information about the author -  credentials, degrees, other published works, etc.

  • Does the site have a "last updated" notice? If not, how do you know if the material is current?
  • Does the site have advertising? This is often a red flag.
  • Is the site trying to sell something? Another red flag


Use keywords with Quick Search and connect words and phases by using the word and.

For example, school shootings and gun laws, school shootings and protest, school shootings and politics, school shootings and mental illness.

Or teachers strike and salary, teachers strike overcrowded classrooms, teachers strike and causes or outcomes.

Other topics such as government shutdown, the border wall and teachers strike are recent events and may have few scholarly articles written.

So check newspapers and organizations for information.

Also, topics like immigration and climate change will have thousands of results, so make sure to narrow the topic -  climate change and society



Evaluating Information - Popular or Scholarly?

Professors often ask students to use scholarly sources, but what exactly does that mean? This handout lists criteria to help you decide if a source is popular or scholarly.

What is a scholarly article?

Searching with Google

You can ask Google to search only for information from the government or universities or organizations - gov or edu or org.

For example, if your topic is the homeless in Nevada

For government information type: homeless Nevada

For non-profit organizations in Nevada type: homeless Nevada

For information from universities and colleges type: homeless Nevada

Type in keyword/s or topic space site colon period and either gov or org or edu


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