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Internet: Citing / Evaluating Resources

Welcome to Internet Guide that is intended to provide basic information about the Internet and how to effectively search it

Evaluating Internet Resources

The Internet provides a wide range of information varying in quality, accuracy, reliability and value. It ranges from the very good to the very bad (inaccurate, biased, shallow, out of date and inappropriate for academic use).

In general, published material is considered more reliable than what is on the web. But many reputable bodies are publishing great things on the web, so you have to critically evaluate the material.

CARS checklist for information quality was developed for checking on Credibility (author's credentials, organizational support, authoritative source), Accuracy (up-to-date, comprehensive), Reasonableness (fairness, objectivity, consistency), and Support (lists sources, bibliographies, contact information). This is of great importance as almost anyone can publish on the Web, and Web standards to ensure accuracy are not developed.

The criteria for critical thinking as stated by Debra Jones can be simplified as:

  • Differentiate between fact and opinion.
  • Examine the assumptions, including your own.
  • Be flexible and open minded as you look for explanations, causes and solutions to problems.
  • Be aware of fallacious arguments, and manipulative reasoning.
  • Stay focused on the whole picture, while examining the specifics.
  • Look for reputable sources.

Sometimes it helps to do a link: search in Google or AltaVista, or to try to find the site in a reputable directory.

Remember that information evaluation through practice of critical thinking skills is an art that gets better with experience.

Many sites provide more information on this topic such as that of University of North Carolina.

Citation Management Tools

There are many programs that help in citing references according to a number of style manuals, such as APA, Turabian, Vancouver, MLA, NLM etc...

AUB Libraries subscribe to the following citation management tools that help in this:

For more information on these you are encouraged to visit the complete ABC guide on how to manage your references from the most important Medical, Nursing, and Public Health databases using Refworks, Endnote Web & Endnote Client.

Citing GoogleScholar Results

To format references from a Google Scholar search, follow the below steps:

  1. Register at RefWorks if you have not done that before.
  2. Go to Google Scholar.
  3. Click on "Settings" from top right-hand corner.
  4. Go down to "Bibliography Manager" and select "Show links to import citations into" select "RefWorks" from the combo box.
  5. Click "Save".
  6. Search Google Scholar, select citation of interest by clicking on its "Import into RefWorks".
  7. Log into RefWorks, click on "Bibliography" and follow the usual steps for managing bibliographies.
  8. If you have any difficulties, ask the Librarian, or call 5911.