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I struggle with knowing what websites can be used for academic work.. Watch

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    Im studying nursing and always have trouble knowing if a website is ok to use for info/ reference or not. How do you tell if its respectable? Can you use charity websites for information such as the rethink website for example?
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    Check that it's updated regularly (so that the information is recent), check the url of the website (if it has anything dodgy in it like freewebs, wiki) and check to see if the company etc. is legit/registered.
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    (Original post by hannah_dru)
    Check that it's updated regularly (so that the information is recent), check the url of the website (if it has anything dodgy in it like freewebs, wiki) and check to see if the company etc. is legit/registered.
    cheers
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    I was told you should avoid websites you do not have to log in/pay for - it usually means what information is on websites you have to subscribe/log into are checked/updated/legitmate - eg. Oxford English dictionary website, Literature Online, etc. Not wikipedia/sparknotes!
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    (Original post by polka_dott)
    I was told you should avoid websites you do not have to log in/pay for - it usually means what information is on websites you have to subscribe/log into are checked/updated/legitmate - eg. Oxford English dictionary website, Literature Online, etc. Not wikipedia/sparknotes!
    Eh, not necessarily. For example, Gallup polls, or certain news sites if you need to use local news. But if you have to log in/pay then it generally is a fairly credible source, but not always.
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    What I usually do is have a look on wikipedia, then if I find anything useful look it up in a book, and reference the book instead. Whether that works probably depends on what sort of subject you do though, it definitely works for history essays, but maybe not so well for stuff about current affairs.
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    (Original post by alio~)
    Im studying nursing and always have trouble knowing if a website is ok to use for info/ reference or not. How do you tell if its respectable? Can you use charity websites for information such as the rethink website for example?
    Yes, but beware of the bias in charity sources. For example, if the charity is called 'Protect Children' and you're answering a question on whether children should be treated the same as adults in the eyes of the law, then 'Protect Children' is likely to be against that view, and its evidence might consequently be selective and not representative of the general picture. I know that's not very related to nursing, but you get my drift.

    Never reference wikipedia. I know it's getting more accurate but it still looks bad in your bibliography. That said, the sources at the bottom of each wikipedia page can often be useful.

    I can't give you a comprehensive list of the most reliable and unreliable sources, but generally if it's written by a respected organisation, it's going to be more reliable in terms of its accuracy (although there could still be bias). If a source is written by some random person who doesn't have any knowledge specifically about the subject (as Wiki sometimes can be), then be more wary. You tend to get used to the sort of websites that are and are not useful as you write more essays and so forth.

    And, of course, don't forget the importance of books! Someone once told me that one book is worth 10 websites in terms of a bibliography. It looks much better (and probably makes for a better piece of work) to have used 4 or 5 books than 100 www. from unreliable websites.

    I hope that's what you're asking for!
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    Look out is the information published in a reputable journal ect Generally speaking, any one your university has subscription for. One of my faves is springerlink :wizard:
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    (Original post by polka_dott)
    Not wikipedia/sparknotes!
    Wikipedia is not all bad. It's a good place to start when you haven't done the reading. Then you find the footnotes to make sure the info is legit. Obviously you won't put wikipedia in your bibliography, but I think it's still a valuable source of information.
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    Psh, just check the websites sources and make up your own mind. Honestly, part of studying these degrees is that you learn how to read sources critically and chose which ones to trust and which ones to throw in the bin.
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    Most. Just not wikipedia.
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    Probably speak to the librarians and get them to show you where the online journals are first.

    wikipedia might be accurate on average but it could have been vandalised 2 minutes before you look at it - as stated sometimes the footnotes are a good source of relevant reference material, but it's on you to check the references actually say what the wiki says they do.

    Google scholar usually turns up stuff that'll be acceptable sources.
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    Just cite journals. Problem solved.
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    I did a whole essay with newspaper reports because I couldn't be bothered to reference properly. There was a bit at the beginning of the class where the teacher reminded "us" that we are not dong journalism :lol:
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    Google scholar for journals is quite useful while you can often look at the inside of books using Google Books allowing you to cite the page without having it physically in front of you.
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    We're not allowed to use any websites at all execpt the ones that give you access to journals of course. Better safe than sorry I suppose.
 
 
 
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