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HES210: Cultural Aspects of Health and Illness (Hopson)

Google - Recommended search strategies

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

  • site:domain search term(s)
  • site:.gov "sexually transmitted diseases"
  • site:.org STDs
  • site:.edu HIV

Site searching -- Limits results to a particular website

  • site:url search term(s) 

  • site:www.who.int HIV demographics

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

  • site:www.cdc.gov AIDS~statistics 
  • site:.org STDs~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?