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More Information on Evaluating Sources
What about Wikipedia?
|"Wikipedia? It's a great place to start, and a horrible place to end, at least that's what my professor says." PIL Progress Report 2/09
Alternatives to Wikipedia
The Libraries offer large online reference collections that provide general topic overviews, relevant vocabularly, and citations for additional resources. Below are a few examples. Find more online reference collections here.
Oxford Reference Online
Concurrent user limit: 12 users on the platform
Oxford Reference Online includes subject and language reference sources from Oxford University Press, including many titles from the Oxford Companions Series. Browse or search single titles, specific subject areas, or the entire collection.
Concurrent user limit: unlimited
Sage Knowledge provides full-text of major reference works published by
Sage Publications, including Sage Books, Sage Reference, CQ Press reference
resources, and Sage Navigator social sciences literature review tool.
This video created by Western University Libraries offers a nice overview on evaluating any kind of source.
When working with statistical data, be sure to ask yourself:
- Where did the numbers come from?
- How were the numbers collected?
- What date range do the statistics cover?
- Who exactly collected the data?
A Few Things to Consider
Statistics are perhaps the most difficult type of information to find. Here are a few things to think about when trying to find a statistic: