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Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: Searching the Internet

An introduction to WVU Libraries resources for WV Nano summer students

Finding Government Information on the Internet

You can use a special search argument in a Google search to find only information on government sites.

Add site:gov to your search to retrieve only government-sponsored web pages.

For example, to find government-produced information on thin films, you would type "nano thin films" site:gov in the Google search box.

Internet Research Skepticism

The Internet is largely an uncontrolled mass of information.

When evaluating web pages, ask yourself: "Would my professor consider this a scholarly source?"

Look at every web site you are thinking of citing based on COALA

         Currency --  Is the information up to date? When was the last time it was updated? Be careful about trusting information you find on an old Web site.

         Objectivity -- What is the Web site's purpose? Is it solely to provide information or is it to sell a product or express an opinion? Is it biased? Are facts included?

         Authorship -- Is the person or company publishing the information reliable and trustworthy? What are this person's credentials? Can this person claim authority in that field?

         Layout -- Is it easy to find information on the Web site? Does the Web site have a lot of pop-up ads and distracting advertisements? Such tools can take away from a site's content.

         Accuracy -- Is the material correct? Are there any spelling or grammar mistakes? Has the information been edited and fact-checked? Are there any factual errors?


Excerpted from: "Evaluating Online Sources."  World News Digest.  Facts On File News Services.  11 Aug. 2009  <>.

Google Scholar

When on campus, WVU-Libraries-purchased content will display for you. When at home, use the Preferences in Google Scholar to display WVU-Libraries-purchased content.  Use the Find it @ WVU application to go to the full content of articles.