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EVR 1001 (Angley) - Research PowerPoint: Finding a Website Article/Resource

When to use a library database vs. a search engine:

On this tab, students will be able to browse suggested websites, learn more about how search engines such as Google work, explore suggested search terms and ways to narrow Internet results, and learn more about evaluating websites to select the best information for a college level assignment.

A library database and a website can both be advantageous in your research process. Depending on your research need you may decide to use one more than the other.

Suggested Websites:

Search engines are:

  • Useful when seeking organization/individual/government information
  • Useful for finding government or international statistical data (ex. how many dolphins die each year and potentially what causes)
  • Search engine company search formulas often use your previous search history and a website’s popularity to influence search results
  • Content can be written by anyone, so remember to evaluate sources for author/source credibility, reliability of information, audience, bias, whether the information is up-to-date

You can begin your searches with the suggested search terms below:

Dolphin or Marine Mammals
Sentinel Species
Death or Mortality
Virus or Virology or Microbiology or Epidemiology

Similar to searching a library database, you can combine search terms when searching the web (i.e. dolphin + mortality).

Also consider narrowing your results by adding a term to your search string to help narrow the type of results. For example, you can add news, report, data, statistics, etc. See the example results below for the search terms dolphin + mortality + report.

How Search Engines Work

This short video will provide you with an overview of how Google and similar search engines work. A search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, or Bing, uses the company’s search formula to find information on the web.

How to Evaluate a Website

A key expectation of college-level research is that you will gather information from credible sources. Websites, articles, books, and media can all be credible sources -- or not. There is much to learn about selecting credible sources; however, "The C.R.A.A.P. Test" provides a handy acronym to get you started. The letters stand for five basic criteria you can use to evaluate sources.

  • Currency
  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Purpose
  1. Use Google, or another search engine, to find information related to your research question.
  2. Using the handout above practice evaluating some of the websites. This may include moving beyond search results 1, 2, or 3. Remember you are writing a college level paper.
  3. After evaluating 3 or more websites, select the "best" source that would support your topic.
  4. Consider if there are any holes in the information provided by your selected website? This might indicate that you need additional information.
The Valencia College libraries do not welcome solicitation of resources to be added to our LibGuides. This includes but is not limited to vendors, search engine optimizers, placement of ads, products, or any other requests. Our LibGuides are carefully curated resources developed in partnership with faculty, staff, and students to support specific assignments, courses, events, and other related purposes at Valencia College. The Valencia libraries reserve the right to ignore LibGuide resource solicitations, and/or block persistent requests from groups or individuals to add or promote links in our LibGuides.