Finding info on the web--a few caveats

The Web can provide excellent starting places to do your research. But if you are only using Google and Wikipedia to find your information, you may not be finding all of the information that is available on your topic. Especially if you are being asked to do scholarly research.

Three very important facts to remember about information:

1. Search Engines only retrieve a portion of the information available on the web.

A lot of useful information is not freely available on the web. It is proprietary, meaning someone--an author, a publisher, or institution--owns the information.

2. Not all digitized information is created equal.

You need to critically analyze and evaluate the information you intend to use.

3. Not all information has been digitized.

There are still books in the Library. And other print and analog resources that do not exist on the Web.

Starting Places: Background Information

CQ Researcher

CQ Electronic Library is often an excellent starting point for finding a detailed overview of a range of public affairs topics.  Especially helpful is CQ Researcher, which offers detailed reports on a wide range of controversial topics, from gun control to global warming.

image of CQ Electronic Library database