Internet Searching

Yes, you can use Google or any other Internet search engine to locate resources... but how do you know when what you have found is authoritative and trustworthy? 

You are responsible for ensuring the academic content of the documents that you use.  Consider carefully how you will assess the information that you find.  You may wish to find answers for these questions:

  • Authority: Is the author or institution credible?
  • Accuracy: Is it supported by documented and authoritative references? Is there a clearly stated methodology? Is it 'in line' with other work on the same topic
  • Coverage: Have limitations been imposed and are these stated clearly?
  • Objectivity: Can bias be detected?
  • Date: Can't find the date? Rule of the thumb is to avoid such material
  • Significance: Is it relevant? Would it enrich or have an impact on your research?

Evaluating Online Information: Use the CRAP test

Google Advanced Searching

Restricting content to file type 

  • to do this type in your topic and then "filetype:pdf" or "filetype:doc"

Restricting content to site .org or .gov sites

  • to do this type in your topic and then either "" OR "" OR ""

Restricting content to searching titles only

  • to do this type search "intitle: "human rights""

To exclude words from your search

  • to do this search use operator "-" (minus) eg. jaguar speed -car
Content last reviewed: January 26, 2021