The Internet offers huge amounts of information but you must remember that the information can often be of poor quality. So you should be very cautious when preparing academic assignments and seeking evidence to support your professional practice.
Precise searching and careful evaluation of the content should help to filter out irrelevant material. This page gives you some pointers about assessing checking the quality of websites.
Help with Internet searching
If you're not very familiar with searching the Internet for high-quality, academic information then you might like to try one of the following free tutorials:
- Intute: Virtual Training Suite – provides free tutorials on using the Internet, evaluating websites and lists some of the most useful resources for your subject. Tutorials include: Social Worker, Sociologist, Social Policy, Social Research Methods, Social Statistics, Health and Social Care, Lawyers and Psychologist.
- The Internet Detective – Another free tutorial designed to help you "discern the good, the bad and the ugly for your online research." The section "detective work" lists some practical steps you can take to critically evaluate what you have found on the web.
You have probably used search engines such as Google to find information but you might want to consider some of the following websites as a starting point to find high quality information. It will
- NHS Evidence Health Information Resources offers links to the invaluable Specialist Libraries (eg Later Life or Infection Control), drugs compendiums, research, care pathways and much more.
- Intute offers thousands of excellent web resources, each evaluated and described by a team of subject experts. For some topics you might want to use the Health and Life Sciences or Social Sciences sections. (This site also offers RSS feeds.)
- Social Care Online collects together links to websites on all aspects of social care.
- Kings Fund - access to their publications.
- Department of Health - access to policy documents, press releases and circulars.
- Royal College of Nursing - includes RCN publications, leaflets and contact details.
- Royal College of Midwives - includes RCM publications, leaflets and contact details.
- World Health Organisation(WHO) - access to WHO documents.
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