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Finding Reliable Information

Reliable sources provide information that corresponds closely to actual facts and events in the real world.

Questions to ask when evaluating any information source:

  • Purpose - why is the information been made available? Is it part of an effort to convince you of something or sell you products?
  • Authority - who wrote it? what's their background?
  • Accuracy - is there evidence presented or does it provide links to evidence?
  • Relevance - how does it relate to your topic?
  • Currency - how old is the information?
  • Scope - does it provide enough/too much detail? how is it organized?

 

Watch out for confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is our tendency to accept things that match our opinions as if they were true facts. This is NOT a good criteria for evaluating information and often keeps people stuck with ideas that are inaccurate and don't match the real world. It's easy to see how people we disagree with fall into the trap of confirmation bias, it's harder to notice when we do it ourselves. When we question our assumptions, we can significantly increase our understanding of the world around us. Avoiding confirmation bias is empowering.

Finding Web Information

Searching for information on the web efficiently requires developing a search strategy. Is the information sought very specific? If so,  a search engine is the best search tool to use with keywords to describe the exact information need. Unsure or looking for more general information on a topic?  Start with a subject directory and search broad topics. Many specialized databases and search tools are also available on the web.

Recommended Web Sources

Below are some online sources for information about immigration. For links to organizations that provide help and support to immigrants, click the Support Organizations tab above.

Google Search

Suggestions?

This guide is being built by the Library with the help of the CCSF community.  Please send comments and suggestions about things that you would like to see included.  

Library & Learning Resources, City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112 (415) 452-5541