Finding Good, Current Sources
- No matter what the copyright date of the website is, check the dates on the references and sources listed for the information.
- The website might have been updated recently, but that doesn't mean that the sources are current.
- If there are no sources, then not only do you have no idea how old the information is, you also have no idea where it came from.
- (Current is here defined as <5 years old - information about health topics is dangerous if it's out of date!)
- Figure out what organizations keep statistics on your topic, and then search their websites. Go straight to the source.
- Use search operators like site:.gov or site:.org to limit your search on Google.
- You can get fancy with this - try something like site:stopbullying.gov statistics 2011..2015 to search just the Stop Bullying website for articles mentioning statistics and any year between 2011 and 2015.
- Make sure you're using a reliable source! Use the CRAAP test - ask yourself if the source you want to use is current enough, is relevant to your information needs, is from an authority on the subject, contains accurate information, and has a purpose that suggests that the information on the site is objective.
Citing Your Sources
- Go to the Citation Help tab above for guides and more resources. The video below is less than 90 seconds and demonstrates how to use those MLA-style templates to create a citation for a website.
- Here are a few sites from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get you started:
- NIH's MedlinePlus Health Topics
- NIH's Mental Health Information
- CDC's National Center for Health Statistics
- CDC's FastStats
- CDC's Data & Statistics by Topic
- For background information, try these databases:
- Go to the link and scroll down for recent Uxbridge statistics from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.