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HES210: Cultural Aspects of Health and Illness (Sawyer)

This guide was designed to support students enrolled in HES, however, others conducting research might also find the content useful.

Google - Recommended search strategies

Domain searching -- Limits results according to a website's top level domain.  For example, .gov (government websites), .edu (education), .int (intergovernmental organizations) and .org (organization)

  • site:domain search term(s)
    • "sexually transmitted diseases"
    • STDs
    • HIV
    • contraception

Site searching -- Limits results to a particular website

  • site:url search term(s) 

    • HIV demographics

Statistics searching -- Use the tilde (~) to find data related to search terms

  • AIDS~statistics 
    • STDs~statistics

Search Google using the format below, a health related topic and country. For example, PTSD United States, drug addiction China, healthcare system South Africa, etc. Choose one result from each results list and write the webpage title. 

  1. Domain searching -- site:domain search term(s)
    • search terms
  2. Site searching -- site:url search terms(s)
    • search terms
  3. Statistics searching -- Use the tilde (~) to find data related to search terms
    • search terms~statistics

Web Evaluation

It is important for a researcher to evaluate any resource for reliability and usefulness.  The following are the general elements considered when reviewing a resource.   

Author/Publisher or Sponsor What is their knowledge of the subject or expertise in the field? Do they have a vested interest in a certain point of view?  Pay close attention to an author's word choice, omissions, the limiting of debate, framing of the story, and the selection and use of sources.  Bias influences include geography, affiliations and the nature of the medium.
Audience Is the information appropriate for an academic audience?
Date Is something more current needed?
Accuracy Are there errors?  Is the resource fact or opinion based?
References Are there citations?  Are the cited sources reliable?
Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike License Tag

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