Before using a website in a paper or project, you should evaluate it to make sure that it is appropriate for college level research. Consider the following criteria when you are evaluating a website:
The domain of a website indicates the type of entity responsible for creating and maintaining the site. The domain can be found in the site's URL and is always preceded by ".". See below for a list of possible domain names and the things to consider when evaluating these sites.
.gov : Maintained by various areas of the federal government and can generally be trusted. These are particularly useful for statistical inforamtion such as census or employment data as well as legal information such as Congressional hearings and Supreme Court rulings.
.edu : Maintained by educational institutions ranging from elementary through college. These are generally reliable sources, particularly if they are maintained by a college or university department or research center. However, be weary of personal student websites which may be hosted under a .edu domain but are not necessarily reviewed by the institution.
.org : Most commonly maintained by non-profit organizations which are usually credible, unbiased sources. However, be weary of non-profit organizations that strongly advocate specific points of view such as many lobby or activist organziations. While these organizations may provide credible information, be sure to check that this information is supported by cited sources and that you have evaluated all sides of this issue in other sources. Be sure to consider whether this organization is supported by commercial interests which may introduce bias.
.com : Maintained by commercial entities. Consider the motive of the site's creators as they are likley selling or promoting their product. While this information may be accurate, it may also be presented in a biased light or it may exclude information that could potentially harm their commerical interests.
.net : This is a generic domain name that could was originally intended for network technology groups but has come to encompass commercial and individual interests as well. These sources should always be closely evaluated.
.mil : Maintained by the various branches of the United States military.
.il.us : Maintained by various branches of the Illinois state government. This would also apply to any of the other 50 states such as wi.us, in.us, mi.us, etc. State sources are generally reliable and are particularly useful for state governement information such as state tax or health department information as well as websites hosted by individual towns or municipalities.
Common English-Speaking Country Domains :
.au = Australia
.ca = Canada
.uk = United Kingdom
AmoebaWeb Hosted by Vanguard University, this site provides thousands of links to a variety of psychology-related websites.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention A-Z Index Comprehensive index of topics and features covered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Typical entries include a brief overview of the subject, relevant data and statistics, CDC and other government-sponsored articles and diagnosis and treatment information.
National Institute of Mental Health Includes a wealth of information on NIMH and related research programs, mental health statistics and listings of publications, clinical trails, treatment and news related to specific health topics.
PsychCentral Provides numerous psychology resources including forums for mental health professionals, information on specific disorders, a prescription drug reference guide, a list of news headlines and much more.
Psychology Today Significant source of Psychology news. Includes coverage of recent studies and developments in the field. Also includes comprehensive topic streams ranging from Anxiety to Politics to Work.
The Whole Brain Atlas MRI views of the normal and diseased human brain. Collaboration of MIT and Harvard University.
Blogs can be an excellent way to keep up with current issues in your field. Just keep in mind that blogs can be created by anyone with computer access so you should only follow blogs written by trusted experts in the field. Most bloggers will embed links in their posts to other sites that are covering the same topic.
Brain Blogger Health and science blog that covers topics from multidimensional biopsychosocial perspectives. Contains listings of articles and blog entries related to Neuroscience & Neurology, Psychology & Psychiatry, Health & Healthcare, Drugs & Clinical Trials, Law & Politics and many more. Most entries are extensively cited with links to the original articles and studies.
British Psychological Society’s Research Digest The BPS Research Digest provides original, authoritative reports on the latest psychology research. The editor of this blog strives to find the latest peer-reviewed findings from across the field of psychological science.
The Daily Brain The Daily Brain is a website for people who love asking questions and searching for answers – especially when the answers lead to new questions. An entertaining list of science and technology news.
Mind Hacks Provides daily interesting tit-bits from psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience. Includes links to relevant information on the web with a focus on understanding what’s going on inside the mind.
The Neurocritic Deconstructing the most sensationalistic recent findings in Human Brain Imaging, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Psychopharmacology. The entries on this blog include detailed citations for additional research and follow-up.
Positive Psychology News Daily Authored by alumni or students at the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) programs and by invited guest authors. This site provides the latest news about happiness, the “science of happiness” and positive psychology.
PsyBlog This blog focuses on scientific research into how the mind works. The author incorporates studies from various areas of psychology and provides focused series such as Cognitive Biases, the Psychology of Money and Psychology of Creativity.
The Situationist The Situationist is a forum for scholars, students, lawyers, policymakers, and interested citizens to examine, discuss, and debate the effect of situational forces – that is, non-salient factors around and within us – on law, policy, politics, policy theory, and our social, political, and economic institutions. The Situationist is associated with The Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard Law School.