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A Road Map to Music Research: Four: End your journey...

...with an Internet search.

  • Explore the Internet last and be discerning about what you use; information may not be reliable.  See below for more information on evaluating web sites.
  • This is your last chance to use the vocabulary terms you collected from encyclopedias.
  • Internet sources require a special citation format.  See step five for guidance with citing your sources. 

Evaluating Web Sites: Things to Consider

  • Is the site produced by a reputable college, university, or other information-providing institution?  It is if the URL contains one of the following "domain" codes: 
    • ac (British academic institution) 
    • edu (US educational institution) 
    • gov (governmental body) 
    • org (non-profit organization)
  • Is the site produced by an individual?  These sites require special scrutiny.  Look for answers to the following questions before using information from these sources. 
    • Are you familiar with the author as a recognized authority in the subject area of the information contained on the page? 
    • If not, does the site contain biographical information and/or credentials about the individual? 
    • Do those credentials tie the individual to reputable institutions? 
  • Sometimes it is difficult to discern who produces a site because the site is several levels into a larger site.  In these situations, try the following: 
    • Locate a "Home" link that will take you to the web site's main page. 
    • If you can't find a "Home" link, truncate the URL back to each single forward slash.  For example, would be truncated to to see that the Music Library site is part of the Joyner Library site. 
  • How current is the information contained on this site?
    • Check the bottom of the opening page of the site for an indication of when the site was last updated.  Many now contain such a date, or at least a copyright indication that includes a year.  If that year is not the current one, be cautious about using the information.
    • Some sites also include dates for other reasons (e.g., a performance schedule on a musician's web site).  Such dates can also be good indicators of currency.