This website has been produced to support the Historical Methods Classes at Rowan University. Tabs above will present various resources and other useful tools to help you find, evaluate, and organize materials you need for your research.
We recommend that you spend some time on this page and review the information below. There you will find useful information about setting up Refworks, evaluation Web materials, and more.
For additional assistance please contact the Library's History Liaison--contact info under the Site Info tab, above--or contact one of the librarians at Campbell Library.
You want to use scholarly materials when doing your research. But how to be sure? Traditionally, scholarly materials have employed “peer-review” procedures for scholarly journal articles and of editorial oversight for the publishing of books. Websites, however, generally do not undergo such reviews, so how can one be sure of the legitimacy and quality of the content one finds online?
One can find on the Internet many version of evaluation checklists to help you determine if a website of interest meets academic standards. A Google search of the terms “Evaluating Websites” or similar will return a list of hundreds but all have similar characteristics. These include the following.
Is the site aimed at a general audience, students, or experts? Is the language technical or Scholarly? Check links and reference to help determine the level of the material.
Can you determine the author or organization responsible for the content? Is there identifiable information about the author or organization? Does the page include references or bibliographic Information? Does the author have claims to authority on a topic, based on his education, credentials, and other publications that are listed on the site or which can be found by conducting searches.
Currency is more important for some subject areas than it is for others. Notwithstanding that fact, has the site in question been updated recently? Is the content current for the subject? For example facts about recent topics – say, for example, the federal election process—can change from day to day. Are the links on the page up today? Are many broken? This could indicate a site which is not maintained.
Look to see if the website contain an extension such as: ‘.edu’ ‘.org‘ ‘.gov’ ‘.int.’ Not having one of these extension does not disqualify a site but these do indicate the source type. Many sites present information of interest only to provide a sales pitch for a product. Some sites claim “fair and balanced reporting” but provide only opinion heavily slanted by a political or corporate agenda.
Listed are a few links to the so-called CRAAP text and other versions that discuss the need for evaluating resources.
Learn to use RefWorks with these great Videos on YouTube. If you are new, start with number I. An ckeck back for reminders when you need them.
9 videos in 20 minutes will ensure you know how to take full advantage of RefWork's Capabilites
5 Videos cover the basics in more depth
6 videos cover the advanced features of RefWorks
6 videos cover enhancements that were made in 2013
5 videos cover aspects of the Output Style Editor