Book reviews can help you decide whether a book is authoritative or not. They can also provide book summaries.
Bowker's Books in Print is a database that contains nearly 2 million book titles and thousands of full-text reviews. You can find it at www.lib.alasu.edu.
There is no review process or regulation for materials on the Internet, like there is for books or articles published in journals. So before you use an Internet source in a research project, you will need to judge for yourself the quality of the material that is presented. Consider these questions:
|Accuracy||Does the information presented seem accurate? Are the facts verifiable?|
|Authority||Who is the author? What expertise does he or she have on this topic? Who sponsors the site? Can you tell if it's a university or college, a business, an organization, or an individual?|
|Objectivity||What is the stated purpose of the site? Check the "About..." link if there is one. What position or opinion is presented and does it seem biased? What kind of sites does this one link to? Are there advertisements?|
|Currency||When was the page created? Does it include current information? Do links on the site still connect to their destinations?|
|Use||Would you quote information from this site in a college research paper?|
"Scales with Computers," Western Michigan Searchpath Tutorial, 2001, http://www.wmich.edu/library/searchpath/
Adapted from a Library Research Tutorial created by Jenni Breems & Jan Versluis at the John and Louise Hulst Library at Dordt College