Web sites can be sources of great information...but how do you determine what is okay to use in academic papers?
Here are 4 considerations as you assess web sites for use in your assignments.
Author: Who wrote the section, and what are their credentials? What larger organization are they affiliated with? If I google them, what do I find? What is the parent web site?
Bias: Can you identify an angle/slant/bias in the article or on the larger web site? What is the purpose of the study or content—to prove something to a particular group? Can you corroborate the claims with at least 2 other sources?
Content: Is the source accurate? Are there basic mistakes in grammar, dead links, or spelling? When was it posted or last updated or published? Does it contain claims that contradict things you know to be true or even other claims within the article itself?
Support: Does the content have citations or sources? Can you verify the sources? Can you contact the author or organization?
This interesting medical information site has a great image search available for those hard-to-find images of diseases and conditions. Better than Google Image searching, this focuses on the subject matter and excludes a lot of the fluff you find elsewhere.
A collection of full text peer-reviewed journals in medicine, biology, and psychiatry. Many journals are freely available to anyone, but others are only available to paid subscribers. Registration is required.
A biomedical search engine that contains NIH/PubMed documents, a large collection of theses, dissertations, and other proprietary publications not found anywhere else for free, making it one of the most comprehensive and powerful free biomedical searches" (publisher description).
The world's largest database on reproductive health, containing citations with abstracts to scientific articles, reports, books, and unpublished reports in the field of population, family planning, and related health issues. POPLINE is maintained by the INFO Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs and is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Contains nearly 360,000 records and has been maintained since 1973 by the INFO Project (formerly Population Information Program). The majority of items are published from 1970 to the present, however, there are selected citations dating back to 1827. The database adds 12,000 records annually and is updated every Monday. Special features include links to free, fulltext documents; the ability to limit your search to peer-reviewed journal articles; RSS feeds for topical searches; and many abstracts in French and Spanish.
In line with the Physicians' Desk Reference, this source provides information on drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, as well as herbs and other supplements as treatment. You will find recommended dosage, side effects, possible food and drug reactions, and sometimes pictures. Also offers important overviews of diseases and conditions.
Provides access to e-prints in a variety of Biology and Science subjects, including non-linear sciences and quantitative biology. From the web site: "arXiv is an e-print service in the fields of physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science, quantitative biology and statistics. The contents of arXiv conform to Cornell University academic standards. arXiv is owned, operated and funded by Cornell University, a private not-for-profit educational institution. arXiv is also partially funded by the National Science Foundation."
This research help service from the Library of Congress provides a list of published resources on many aspects of Bioethics. Includes introductory texts on the issue, encyclopedias, conferences, government publications, journals, individual representative articles, and much more.
"Established in 1988 as a national resource for molecular biology information, NCBI creates public databases, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing genome data, and disseminates biomedical information - all for the better understanding of molecular processes affecting human health and disease" (publisher description). Government resources in biology and the life sciences. Includes PubMed, ebooks, plus specialized databases on biological classification (taxonomy), genes, genomes, proteins, and more.
A collection of links to web sites divided up by topic, including Online readings in Environmental Ethics and separate topics in Applied Environmental Ethics, such as Cloning, Resource allocation, Ecofeminism, and Air and Water Pollution, to name only a few.
A sort of online biology textbook, this site makes use hyperlinks to explore in greater depths the usefulness of cross-referencing for quick and easy access to definitions, explanations, etc. It also includes a "comprehensive list" of other free, online biology books.