Selecting Quality Research Sources in the Classroom

By: Tasha Bergson Michelson

student-searching-2-291x300“When we consider information quality — teaching students to find and use credible information — educators often feel they must take sides with regard to what type of search tool they prefer. Should students be required to use information in paid databases, such asFacts on File, EBSCO, ProQuest, or Gale? Or is it better to accustom them to the open web, especially via search engines such as Google, Sweet Search, or DuckDuckGo?

In actuality, this debate sets up a false dichotomy.

Certainly, there are times I would prefer one category over the other. In daily life, as well as in the type of “authentic” assignments we strive for these days, there are many information needs that simply require the open web. Furthermore, one of the most insidious pro-fee-database arguments I encounter is that using databases “guarantees” “quality” or “reliable” information, without regard for the fact that the range of sources in databases is often quite broad, and students are as likely to encounter articles from People or Good Housekeeping in some academic databases as they are to find an article from the Journal of Microbiology.” To read further please click here:

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