Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. -- Lorraine Hansberry

T is for Thinking: the ICYouSee Guide To Critical Thinking

Distinguish Web pages from pages found on the Web.

When people speak of Web pages, which can be any document displayed in a web browser, they usually don't mean pages from books and articles from magazines and scholar journals. However, these research materials may only be accessible through the Web. Books, government documents, and periodical articles — that your teacher or professor may require — are prefered over "Web pages" for good reason. They differ in scope, focus, and reliability than ordinary Web pages. In the case of research articles, their authors are researchers and scholars who have backed up their conclusions with documentation. Before publication, research articles have been reviewed by other researchers in the field. This is known as the peer review process.

However, these preferred research resources are rarely found directly through a Google search. Instead you usually must access them through a library database — and only after you have first logged in.

Some research materials do show up in Google searches, and Google created Google Scholar as a database of scholarly and peer-reviewed resources. What typically happens when you find an article this way, however, is that you will be asked to pay for it before you can see it. Stop. Don't pay. Go to your library website, instead and search for the same articale through one of your library's databases. Even if you can't access it immediately, the library can get it for you through interlibrary loan.

To get an idea of the difference between "regular" Web pages and periodical articles found on the Web, compare the results between a regular Google search for "flirting" with those resulting from a search using Google Scholar.

Questions to think about:

  • Do you think this page was designed for the Web?
  • If it was originally something else, what something else was it?

Back to the main page? or ready for a review?

ICYouSee T is for Thinking
John R. Henderson
Last modified: February 17, 2018