Using the Internet for Research

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • The Internet is available 24 hours a day.
  • Internet pages can be more quickly updated than paper sources.
  • Some newspapers magazines and encylopedias are available online.
  • Some books not available in the library may be available online.
  • Many different types of media are available on the Internet.

 

Cons:

  • Anyone can create a web page.
  • Authority of the work may not be readily apparent.
  • What you see today may not be what you see tomorrow.  There is nothing to prevent the author from changing tomorrow what you quoted today.
  • Internet information is usually not organized in any way to help in finding it.
  • Archived materials - newspapers, magazines, etc. may not go back very far.
  • There is no one to ask assistance of if you can't find anything.
  • Media available in different formats may require software not available on your computer.
  • Most journals and magazines are not available on the Internet except through databases which require a paid subscription.
  • Most books are not available through the Internet.

    When using the Internet for research, please evaluate the authority of the site.
    See:
    Web Site Evaluation Guide