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Research Skills

HOW FACTUAL | Non-fiction stuff is organised: the Dewey | 'Dui' Decimal System

DEWEY!! a very cool system of organising factual | non fiction stuff

Why can't I just google?

Research Steps - in depth: THANK YOU, State Library of Victoria

Research Steps

What's a database?

Are you getting the truth? the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Beware of filter bubbles.

How relevant & reliable is your information? Does it pass the C.R.A.P test?

Ask yourself the following questions about each resource ( websites especially) you're considering:


  • How recent is the information?
  • Can you locate a date when the page(s) were written/created/updated?
  • Does the website appear to update automatically (this could mean no one is actually looking at it)?
  • Based in your topic, is it current enough?


  • What kind of information is included in the website?
  • Based on your other research, is it accurate? ...complete?
  • Is the content primarily fact, or opinion?
  • Is the information balanced, or biased?
  • Does the author provide references for quotations and data?
  • If there are links, do they work?


  • Can you determine who the author/creator is?
  • Is there a way to contact them?
  • What are their credentials (education, affiliation, experience, etc.)?
  • Is there evidence they're experts on the subject?
  • Who is the publisher or sponsor of the site?
  • Is this publisher/sponsor reputable?

Purpose / Point of View

  • What's the intent of the website (to persuade, to sell you something, etc.)?
  • What is the domain (.edu, .org, .com, etc.)? How might that influence the purpose/point of view?
  • Are there ads on the website? How do they relate to the topic being covered (e.g., an ad for ammuntion next to an article about firearms legislation)?
  • Is the author presenting fact, or opinion?
  • Who might benefit from a reader believing this website?
  • Based on the writing style, who is the intended audience?



Adapted from and with thanks to: Molly Beestrum, Dominican University Librarian; and Vanderbilt University Library.

How much information are missing out just search the web?

Answer: A WHOLE LOT!