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Research Process: A Step-By-Step Guide: 2d. Internet Resources

A guide to help you through the steps of the research process. This guide is modeled after a guide created by the librarians at Johnson & Wales University.

Tip!

To help you identify quality websites related to your industry and area of study, use the Academy of Art Library Subject Guide for your school of study. Internet resources are listed on the Web Resources tab.

Remember to evaluate the websites you find before using them in your research assignments.

Domain Extensions

The extension at the end of a domain name can help you determine the type and quality of the information found on a website. See below for a brief introduction to domain extensions.

  • .gov - All U.S. federal government Web domain names end in .gov, along with some state sites; all U.S. military sites end in .mil. Government websites provide some of the most reliable information in the United States.
  • .edu - University Web sites end in .edu. University studies—especially peer-reviewed ones--are also very reliable resources of information. (But be careful! Students post Web sites with .edu endings, too, because universities give them free server space. A tip-off of such a personal Web page posting is the tilda ~ in the URL.)
  • .org - Special-interest groups, generally political, social, or religious in nature, post pages ending in .org, which can be good information. But remember: The groups are biased. They have an agenda. And remember that although .org URLs were intended for nonprofits, commercial companies or individuals can buy sites ending in .org, too.
  • .com - Other types of pages should be eyed with a reporter's caution. This goes for commercial sites ending in .com, .net and now .biz, and any personal home pages (such as those now ending in .name). However, most U.S. news sites end in .com, and their Web information is generally as reliable as that published in their more traditional print or broadcast sister publications.

Search Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides an easy way to search for scholarly literature across many disciplines and resources. If you find an article that you would like to read through Google Scholar and it is behind a paywall, use the citation information to search for the article in one of the library databases.

Internet Research Tutorial - Evaluating Websites

Search Google

Review our Search Strategies for tips on getting the most of your Google search results.