When evaluating websites,
remember to ask yourself:
Who, what, when, where, why & how?
This is the tried and true formula used by
police, journalists, and researchers – Who,
What, When, Where & Why – which can be
applied in cyberspace to help identify
credible online information sources.
Has someone taken responsibility for the content of
this Web site?
Is information about the author or organization clearly
Are there any links to in-depth information about the
author or organization?
Can you contact the company or author through a real
world postal address or phone number?
Can you confirm that the company or author is a
credible, authoritative source of information?
Is the information biased in any way?
Is emotion used as a means of persuasion?
Does the site offer more than one viewpoint?
Does the site's information seem thorough and
Does the site clearly state the topics it intends
Is the information well written and easy to
Does the site offer a list of further in-depth
resources or links to such resources?
Is it important that the information you’re
looking for be absolutely current?
Is a reference date provided to show when
the material was put online, or when it was
Do the links work? Outdated links may be
.gov, .ca, .uk, etc applies to federal, provincial
departments. This is the country code.
University and college programs (most Canadian
universities tend to use .ca)
.com, .org, .net
In the early days of the Web, .org indicated a wide
assortment of groups, including non-profit
organizations; now you must evaluate these sites to
Before you explore what’s out in cyberspace,
it's a good idea to stop and consider whether or
not the Internet is the best place to start.
Can I get the information faster offline?
Does the online material I'm finding suit my needs?
Perhaps you should try using a library print/electronic
resource or database instead?
Searching for print resources
in the library?
Click on library catalogue (purple book with yellow
question mark – icon)
Type in your general search term
Determine whether fiction or non-fiction
Understand where to locate the resource
* remember a general book may contain specific
information related to your topic – check the index
and table of contents *
You must have a student card to sign-out books
What is a library database?
A website that requires a paid subscription in order
to access information.
Contains information from published works such as
articles from magazines or encyclopedias.
Can be used to search for titles, authors,
magazines, dates, etc.
Often give you access to full-text articles that can be
printed or e-mailed.
How is a database different from a
Library Databases Websites
Get their information from Can be written by anyone
professionals or experts in the field. regardless of expertise.
Contain published works where Content is not necessarily checked
facts are checked. by anyone, expert or not.
Easy to cite in a bibliography and Don't provide the information
may create the citation for you. necessary to create a complete
Help you narrow down your topic or citation.
suggest related subjects. Aren't often organized to support
Updated frequently and include the student research needs.
date of publication. May not contain current information
Available to anyone using a or indicate when a page is updated.
computer in a library that subscribes Available to anyone with an internet
to databases or any library connection inside or outside the
cardholder using a computer outside library.
How do I access the databases
in the SLSS Library?
Click on Library catalogue icon
Select Digital Library, Online Reference
Select Infotrak, Grolier, Canadian Reference Center, Student
Research Centre, Teen Health & Wellness (explore as many
databases you’d like)
From SLSS website, click on Departments/Library/Research
Select Library Catalogue – follow same instructions above
Find the required usernames and passwords on the laminated
bookmarks at circulation desk – they’re free!
Remember: You can also try the public library and have books
transferred to the closest library to your home within days!
And always remember …
A good resource does not hide its identity
from the user.
Good luck with your research!
If you have any questions, please do not
hesitate to ask Ms. Devani or Ms. Budak-
Gosse for further assistance.