Use this Library Research Guide to find resources in Botany - articles and books, websites, and more. Topics include biodiversity, plant anatomy & physiology, taxonomy, paleobotany, dendrology, plant pathology & genetics, research and writing tips, and ca
It is particularly important that you evaluate any web resources you use (e.g. websites, blogs, wikis, etc.) because there is no editorial process for the web and anyone can post anything online. When evaluating web resources it is important to pay attention to details.
When evaluating websites, first ask yourself: How did you find the website?
Did a professor or another reliable source recommend it?
Was it cited in a scholarly or credible source?
Was it a link from a reputable website?
Did you find it by using a search engine like Google?
In addition to following the C.R.A.A.P.O. guidelines for evaluating sources, consider these 3 special criteria to consider when evaluating websites:
Use the blue buttons on the left to find websites on botany or related topics.
Did you know that Google indexes over 1 trillion web pages? That's a lot information out on the web! You don't want to wade through that many web pages to find the information you need, so in addition to evaluating every source you find online, you'll want to employ effective searching techniques.
Whenever possible, use advanced search features to control your search. For example, Google allows you to limit your search to just government or educational web sites via a domain limiter. It's true that you can find some high-quality, trustworthy websites to use in your research. If you're going to use websites, make sure to evaluate your sources thoroughly. Check out our Google Like a Librarian guide for search tips or ask a librarian (email@example.com) if you need more help.
How to Google It
Websites sometimes offer a site search. However, for those that don't there is an option using Google. To limit to a website use site:example.com. This will search all pages that have example.com in the URL. You can limit this further by including a more specific domain such as search.example.com - site:search.example.com. This string will only search for your query in the "search" hostname of the example.com domain.
Another trick is to limit to a specific top-level domain. If you want information from organization websites you could limit to site:.org.
To limit your search to include a phrase you want to use quotation marks. Google, like the databases Shapiro Library subscribes to, will return sites that contain the individual words. Quotation marks tell Google that you only want results that have that specific phrase.