Evaluating Information: Home

Use What Where or Not at All

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Learning Hubs: study advice & career guidance

Learning Hubs are welcoming, collaborative spaces where you can improve your study skills and receive career guidance.

Practical workshops and drop-in sessions are provided to all of our students, as well as after-hours online advice. The drop-in sessions are in the areas of:

Peer mentors are also available to support your transition into university life.

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Why do I need to evaluate my information sources?

Being able to critically evaluate information is an essential research skill. There are many different types and sources of information available but how will you know that the information you find is relevant and reliable? 

Google vs. VU Library

Search engines are widely regarded as the most popular means of finding information. However, Google, Bing or Yahoo and other popular search engines should never be your only research tool.

Related Library Guides

Transcript for Google vs. VU Library video

My course assignment is due in a couple of weeks. Where do I start? How do I find what I need? Should I just use ‘Google’ and hope what comes up will be good enough? Or should I try using the VU Library’s Search tool instead? Hmm, which information search tool should I use? The Google or the Library? Maybe both?

The search for reliable and credible resources can be both paralysing and baffling. The Librarian also said I need to critically evaluate what I find. When conducting an academic research, researching is one of the crucial steps in writing academic papers and assignments. There are advantages to using both Google and the Library.

The Internet should never be your only research tool.You can use the Internet. However Google and other search engines don’t have everything you need. What’s missing is the deep web content, which is the web content that is not indexed by typical search engines. This includes password protected academic library subscriptions to journals or newspapers, book collections and databases. By browsing the Internet you can access a wealth of information. The difficulty lies in sorting through it as there is often too much information.

VU Library, on the other hand, will already have the academic and peer-reviewed content you require. The authority and trustworthiness of the articles don’t need to be questioned. This saves a lot of time sifting through questionable material.The Library Search tool and many academic databases VU library subscribes to can filter out (irrelevant) search terms so you have a smaller search result. This saves even more time as you don’t have to sift through unwanted material. Another advantage of using the VU Library Search tool is the option of being able to cite resources used through the Quick Citation tool. References used can be copied and pasted directly into word processing software, or they can be exported into bibliographic management software such as EndNote or Refworks. As you will see, the VU Library web pages have links to a variety of resources to support your studies. Way to go Library- That’s the way to do the research!

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