Finding and using information

Searching the internet

Your Academic Support Librarians offer a range of information skills workshops to help students find and reference quality information for assignments, dissertations and projects.

Click here to book a place.

Internet search skills

For help in evaluating Internet sources have a look at the following websites and online tutorials:

  • Finding Information on the Internet - a tutorial (University of California, Berkeley) provides a wealth of really useful advice.
  • InfoSkills - Information Literacy and Academic Integrity Tutorial from The University of Newcastle, Australia - InfoSkills is a self-paced online tutorial designed to introduce undergraduate students to a range of information and research skills that will assist with finding, using, evaluating and managing information.
  • Intute: Virtual Training Suite - Free "teach yourself" tutorials on Internet information skills covering a range of subject areas.
  • Phil Bradley - has a range of articles on searching the Internet. In particular Which search engine when?​ contains useful advice on the different types of search engines, and how to get the most out of them.

Searching for images

The following resources help you find and use images from the web:

  • Flickr the Commons - Project to make photographs available online from the archives of cultural institutions around the world. The images have no known copyright restrictions.
  • Finding video, audio and images online - Advice from JISC Digital Media.
  • Getty - Getty, the world's largest photography service, has recently announced it is making most of its collections (35 million photos) available free for non-commercial reuse on social media, as long as users use Getty's embedding tool, which will insert automatic image credits
  • Search by image: Google images -  A tool from Google which enables you to search for images using other images.
  • VADS: the online resource for visual arts - Over 100,000 images from a wide range of collections, including paintings, photographs, posters and artefacts across many themes. The images are copyright cleared for UK higher educational use.

Information on the web

It is possible for anyone to publish on the web which means that not all the information you find there will be accurate, unbiased or current. It is important, therefore, to assess the reliability of the site you are viewing. To do this you should look at:

Authorship

  • Can you identify who has written the information?
  • Is it an organisation or an individual?
  • Do you have contact details?
  • Are they qualified to write about the topic?

Purpose

  • Why does the site exist?
  • What are its aims?
  • It may be expounding a particular cause like animal rights so you need to be aware of possible bias or political agenda.
  • Are you getting one opinion or a balanced view?

Relevance

  • Is the site offering the right sort of information?
  • Does it answer your needs?

Accuracy

  • Can you verify the information?
  • Are there links to other sites giving similar views?
  • Can you check that the facts are correct?

Currency

  • When was the site last updated?
  • Can you check the date of specific information?

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