We welcomed Mrs. Ludwig-LaSota’s Living Environment classes to the library this week as they found and evaluated information for a class presentation on genetic diseases and disorders.
After defining the task, we decided that someone in the medical community would be the ideal source for this health-related project, so we set out to find information that we knew was written or reviewed by medical professionals, or at least was sponsored by medical organizations.
Since we are looking for 3 reliable sources for our brief presentations, we decided Wikipedia wasn’t the best source because of the uncertainty of the original authors, as well as the extensive medical terms that are used in the rather long articles. Wikipedia itself told us it may not be appropriate to cite a tertiary source as the sole source for information (see “How To Cite“). We did decide, however, that the list of related websites might be useful, as well as some of the images.
We decided that since many of the overview articles at WebMD were written and reviewed by medical professionals, and couldn’t be changed by just anyone, that site might lead us to reliable sources.
We also considered the search process itself, and briefly discussed how Google and other search engines rank their search results; not by how reliable or “good” the information is, but by how many other web sites link to it — essentially, a popularity contest.
SweetSearch was introduced as a search engine that does give an indication of how reliable the search results may be, since “every web site in SweetSearch has been evaluated by [their] research experts” — sweet!
Since this project requires a bibliography of at least three reliable sources, we went over how to cite information from the web, using a page from the Academy Research Manual on how to include a work cited only on the web. This is covered on page 4 of the Academy Style Guide (which is based on MLA 7).
Good luck on your presentations!