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Brisbane Boys' College Library : Web search tools and strategies

Welcome to Brisbane Boys' College Libraries, places for learning, reading, sharing, discussing and creating.Guide created by Jennifer King @ BBC

Web Search Strategies

QUT Test for Evaluating Websites

Check the quality of your websites using these criteria (adapted from QUT Library):

Currency: Timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published, posted or last updated?
  • Is the information current for your topic and field of study? How recent does it have to be? Can older sources work just as well?
Relevance: Importance of the information for your needs
  • Is the information appropriate for a senior secondary course?
  • Is this an adequately in-depth examination or a quick summary of the topic?
  • Who's the intended audience? Is it the general public, a student, a researcher or industry?
  • Is the level of information too basic or too advanced for your needs?

Authority: Source of the information

  • Is the author/authoring body (individual person, or institution, or organisation) established and reputable?
  • Are their qualifications, credentials, expertise, experience, educational background and previous work (if any) relevant and do they add credibility to the source?
  • Has the piece been published by a well-known and respected publisher or organisation?
  • Do references to other sources support the writing ie is a Bibliography or Reference List provided?

Accuracy: Reliability and correctness of the information

  • Where does the information come from, and is it supported by evidence?
  • Does it have a Reference List or Bibliography so you can easily find and verify the sources used?
  • Are there any spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: Reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Why was it written?
  • Does the point of view appear objective, unbiased and impartial?
  • Is the viewpoint of the author's affiliation/ sponsors reflected in the message or content?
  • Does the author acknowledge alternative versions of the issues or facts?

Effective Web Searches

When evaluating a website, an important technique is being able to 'read' the URL.  The ability to read a website address, will tell you a lot about the creator, the audience, the purpose and the country of origin. 

BBC website  -  https://www.bbc.qld.edu.au

www bbc qld edu au 
World Wide Web Brisbane Boys College Qld Educational
(3 letter domain name)
Australia
(2 letter country domain name)
 

Google Advanced search techniques

 1. Add site: and a domain name to your search terms.

  • Looking for an educational site -  genetic engineering site:edu
  • Looking for a government site - genetic engineering site:gov
  • To restrict your search to Australian websites, add '.au' -  genetic engineering site:edu.au

3 letter Domain names

  • gov - Government 
  • edu - Educational 
  • org - Organizations (nonprofit)
  • mil -  Military
  • com - commercial
  • net - Network organizations

2 letter Domain names for country of origin
 

  • au - Australia
  • uk - United Kingdom
  • cn - China

A complete list can be found on the CIA World Factbook

2. Use a Google command to limit results to the MOST RECENT: After you get your results, choose the Google Menu Bar, and choose 'Tools'. Then on the far left, at the drop-down menu next to 'Any Time', choose 'Within the last year' (or less, if you prefer).

4. To link directly to Google Advanced Search, click on the following link.