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Bioscience: Web Resources

Web Resources

Websites - useful websites from organisations, experts and government documents


 

You need to evaluate web resources to determine whether the information is of good quality.  The following questions will help you decide whether the source is good enough to use in your assignment.

What

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?

Who

  • Is it obvious who the author is?
  • What are their credentials?
  • Is there a bias to the information given?

Why

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?

When

  • Is a publication date given?
  • Has the information been updated recently?
  • Is the information up to date enough for your purposes?

Searching the free web Video

This video will give you advice on searching the web for your assignments.

*Updated email at end of video - askalibrarian@lsbu.ac.uk*

Wikipedia

Can you use Wikipedia in your assignments?

 

The short answer is no!

Wikipedia can be a good starting point, BUT you should not use it as a source for your assignments.

Anyone can edit Wikipedia.  Wikipedia itself has compiled data on its contributors.  

The advice on Wikipedia itself is that it is not a reliable source, because:

  • Anyone can edit pages
  • Pages have been subject to vandalism in the past - this is often caught quickly, but some vandalisations have stayed on Wikipedia for years.
  • Wikipedia is a dynamic site; no article is ever "finished" - they are constantly being edited/added to.
  • Articles can vary wildly in quality and comprehensiveness.  For example, on the English Wikipedia there will likely be entries on every small town in the United States, but some large towns in the Sahara will not have an entry.
  • There is no systematic process to make sure that "obviously important" topics are written about, so at any given time Wikipedia may be wildly out of balance in the relative attention paid to two different topics.
  • Many contributors do not cite their sources—something that makes it hard for the reader to judge the credibility of what is written.

 

    Researching with Wikipedia

There is an excellent article on Wikipedia itself about using the database for research - pay particular attention to the Special research considerations concerning Wikipedia, which sets out the pros and cons of using Wikipedia articles, and the Citing Wikipedia section, which lays out the reasons you should not reference Wikipedia.

 

    Studies into the reliability of Wikipedia

Wikipedia has carried out numerous research studies and tests into the reliability of the articles on their site, including independent studies.  They have also consulted with many experts to gather expert opinion on Wikipedia, including academics, health and science professionals, journalists and, of course librarians!  The results of all of this evidence gathering can be found here.

Copyright Free Images

Always check that the creator of the image has given permission to re-use their work

Always correctly reference where you got the image from - even if it is copyright free!

Havering Library​

020 7815 6607

 library@lsbu.ac.uk