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Fire Science Technology: Websites

How to Evaluate Websites - Quick Tips


Evaluate websites that have information you would like to use in your assignments. 

Look on each website for an "About Us" page to answer some of the following questions:

  • Who is the author?        
  • What are his/her qualifications?
  • Why was the website created?
  • When was it last updated?
  • How reliable is the information?

Apply the CRAAP Test!

(Currency, Relevancy, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose)

Better Googling

Google logo with checkmark

sprinkler and effective and "fire suppression"

61,200 results

Google logo with X mark

What sprinklers are most effective at fire suppression?

2,970,000 results

Here's how to craft a better search to get fewer and more relevant results:

  • Identify the main ideas in your research question.
          What sprinklers are most effective at fire suppression?

  • Connect the main ideas with AND.
          sprinklers AND effective AND fire suppression

  • Use quotation marks around 2 or more words.
          sprinklers AND effective AND "fire suppression"

  • Use OR between synonyms/related terms.
          "wet sprinkler" OR "dry sprinkler"

  • Limit your search to a specific domain, such as .edu, .gov, or .org.
          sprinklers AND effective AND "fire suppression"

More information on advanced Google searching and Google Scholar.

Wikipedia and Academic Research


How Wikipedia CAN be useful in the beginning stages of research:

Check mark A basic overview of your topic.
Check mark Important names, vocabulary and keywords related to your topic.
Check mark Table of contents for some entries, helping you to understand how your topic can be organized.
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References and other websites that may be helpful (though you will need to evaluate them to be sure).

Why NOT to use Wikipedia for academic research:

X  The accuracy and authority of a Wikipedia article cannot be verified.