You will find that you will need to conduct research for your classes at UPOU, and you will turn to the Web for help. However, not everything that you read on the Web is accurate. Whenever you read anything, published by anyone, is to ask for yourself, "Why should I believe whoever wrote this?" The sources listed here are meant to help you locate reliable and accurate information. This article talks about how to find useful and accurate sources on the Internet.
Accessing UP Library Resources
A note about Wikipedia
In your course, Wikipedia articles may sometimes be suggested to you as supplementary material to give you a very rough overview of certain subjects. In addition, you should be very careful about using Wikipedia for research. You should never cite Wikipedia as a source in graded class work.
On the other hand, Wikipedia can be very useful. Carefully read Wikipedia's own warnings (and suggestions) on how you can use Wikipedia for research. You should also see Kevin Lim's clearly-presented slideshow on How to Use Wikipedia for Academia.
Different information for different purposes
In their book, Computer-Mediated Communication, Crispin Thurlow et al. devote a chapter on using the Web for research. The authors point out the different ways that information taken from the internet can support intellectual inquiry and discourse. Among other things, people seek information online to:
- get an overview of a subject they know nothing about (e.g. mapping of the human genome)
- find factual information (e.g. statistics about the latest internet demographics)
- keep up to the minute (e.g. following an ongoing political crisis)
- balance different points of view from different sources (e.g. following the same political crisis by visiting news sites around the world)
- test a hypothesis or theory (e.g., are women paid less than men in some jobs in another country)
Key sources of information
Key sources of information include the following:
- Mailing lists
- Electronic journals
- Online news sources
- Reports by major international, government, and professional organizations
- Commercial internet research resources
Examples of key sources
Digital Review of Asia Pacific: You can download country-specific chapters from previous editions of this report.
The United Nations provides access to a wide variety of statistical data.
The World Bank World Development Indicators Database
NationMaster is "a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD."
Online news sources
- Associate Press
Real News Network (This news network has interesting organizational model. They receives no corporate or government funding, but they are instead financed entirely by their membership.)
Commercial internet research resources