Find sources on the web

Library databases are invaluable when doing academic research.  Nevertheless, reputable information sources do exist on the web as well.  Keep in mind that all information sources, whether from a scholarly outlet or from the open web, need to be evaluated.  PDF Click here for tips on Evaluting Sources using the RCBCA Test.


General search engines are useful, but advanced or specialized search engines, meta searchers, and subject directories can sometimes be even more useful when doing research.  Here are some tools to help you find credible information on the web:

Search Engines - general or specialized - compile data using "spiders" and "robots" and create their own indexes of the world wide web from that data.

  • GoogleYahoo, and Bing are good generalized search engines but give these other tools a try!
  • Google Scholar: a specialized Google Search engine that returns a mix of types of scholarly content from journals, university websites, professional organizations and other scholarly outlets (rarely full-text, but your WWCC Library can help you find the full article when you find a citation here)
  • DuckDuckGo: a generalized search engine that promises to protect searcher privacy and give standardized results, thus avoiding the "filter bubble"
  • Wolfram Alpha: math and science people love this - (it's a "computational knowledge engine") - also check for stats here
  • all United States government, all the time

Meta Searchers/Crawlers search the world wide web by using the indexes from multiple search engines at once.

Subject Directories are created and maintained by human editors who review sources and make decisions about their inclusion in the index based on pre-determined selection criteria.

Remember to evaluate sources using the PDF RCBCA (Relevence, Credibility, Bias, Currency, Accuracy) test !!!