The use of internet sources in research is a highly debated topic, many scholars argue about the credibility of internet sources. In past, it was difficult to check the credibility of the source from where the writer compiled the information he shared on the internet but today it’s not as difficult. Although there are websites that do not provide references or have less credibility. The students should know what websites they can use as the source of information and what they should not use. There are many ways in which you can check that the author has credibility and the sources that he has consulted are also credible.
It is fair to say that in many ways the internet has made it easier for students and scholars to do the research. The means of communication have changed a lot since the emergence of the internet today you can not only get information from different websites but you can also talk to other scholars and join scholarly blogs and forums where you can discuss your topic. There are infinite ways to get help from the internet while you are conducting research on any topic. Almost all books and journals are available in their e-form but not all of them you can find in your local library. This has made it easier for a researcher to conduct research on any topic.
The best part about conducting research through internet sources i that you need less time to get the information you require for your topic. The other important thing is that you can talk to experts online and can find almost experts in every field. Although the internet has made the process of research easier, for novice researchers it has also made things a little difficult because of many reasons.
Common problems with the internet research
Too much stuff to consider
Most often students complain that it is difficult to decide what information to use and what to avoid because there are infinite options available. Though search engines today refine searches in the best possible manner and you precisely get what you are looking for still there are hundreds or thousands of data that you have to sift through. A novice researcher needs a lot of patience and skill to decide what to use and what not to use. The student should know how to search for a particular topic before looking for answers on the internet because if you will use the right search keywords you will get the right answer. The problem appears when the student could not use the right search keywords and the search engine provides websites that are not suitable for your research. The student has to narrow down the topic and use precise keywords that are related to his research topic. For example, you are studying the impact of media on juvenile delinquency in a particular society, while searching on the internet be concise and precise. Another tip would be to avoid several unnecessary words in your search term.
Another common problem students face is that there are many irrelevant websites that are of no use but often shown in the search. The student should know a little what material is relevant and what is not. Irrelevant websites cause a lot of time wastage in your research. To avoid wastage of time you should start your research from the library using books and when you get to know a little about your topic then look for more information on the internet.
There are a lot of unreliable websites on the internet and because of such websites, the internet is sometimes considered as a less reliable source of research. There are many ways in which the student can check the reliability of the website, the author, and the content. To check the reliability of the content the student can use a software that checks the presence of plagiarism in the content. There are other ways like you can use your common sense to look through the content of the website a poorly written topic can easily be considered unsuitable to be used in the research. The reliability of the author can be checked by his education and other awards he has in his pocket. Also, most websites that have a .org, .gov or .edu domain name are more reliable than other personal websites.
- Turabian, L. k., A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 8th Ed, 2007, pp-33-35
- Tensen, L. B., Research Strategies for a Digital Age, Thomson Wadsworth Pub, 2nd Ed. Pp-17-20