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Outreach: Introduction to College Research: Why Use the Library?

Gordon M. Cook Woodbridge Campus Library Tour

Using the Internet for Research

As you know, Google and Wikipedia are not good sources of information for college research assignments

Library resources are "pre-filtered".  Scholarly articles are peer-reviewed, and only the best journals are included in databases.  Books must go through the publication process and are then hand-picked by librarians based on selection criteria.  Even newspapers and magazines go through an editing process. 

Google is completely "unfiltered".  Anyone can write anything on the Internet.

Dirty Water

Google is like unfiltered water.

Sure, you can drink it, but do you want to?

 

Here are some examples of the worst of the Web:

♦ MartinLutherKing.org  Appears on first page of Google results in a search for Martin Luther King.  Created by a former KKK leader and creator of one of the Internet's oldest hate websites.

Institute for Historical Review (ihr.org)  Holocaust denial site disguised as a regular news site (see leaflets).

DHMO.org  This site warns of the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide and calls for laws to ban its use in agriculture and other industries.  Dihydrogen Monoxide is also known as hydric acid, H2O or water.

LASIK@Home  Doctors are expensive.  Perform your own LASIK eye surgery from the comfort of your home.

Notice that three of these are .org sites!  Organizations have agendas, so be careful with .orgs.

Not all websites are as extreme as these, but these examples show that you have to be careful when using Internet resources.

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals