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To Use or Not to Use

"My instructor says I can't use Web sources for my paper."

Ask your instructor to clarify this, because there are really two Webs. There is the public Web that search engines find, and there's the "invisible Web" that contains special, restricted web sources that only subscribers like the TCNJ community can access and use for research.

An article you find using a research database such as Academic Source Premier typically also exists in a journal in print. It's just delivered via the Web by TCNJ Library to facilitate your research.

So long as you know how to evaluate what you find on websites, they can be a very valuable resource.

Go with the strengths of the public Web
  • to obtain information on colleges, museums, non-profit organizations, or companies

  • for very current information such as news, sports scores, weather, stock quotes

  • to research a well-known event or individual

  • for digital collections of primary source documents
  • to use online job postings, shopping, auctions, or travel services

  • for opinions on a topic

Stop and think!
There may be better places to look than the public Web
  • to find articles in scholarly journals

  • to find articles published in popular magazines

  • to search databases that index articles in many academic disciplines

  • to find books on your topic

  • to locate the full text of articles or books that are copyrighted

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