Finding Credible Web Sources

Image with logos of some of the credible web sources included in this research guide

About this guide

This guide provides tools for evaluating the information you find on the free internet, links to suggested resources for finding credible web sources, and links to citation guides for internet sources.

Use the tabs above to navigate through the pages of this guide.

Need more help?

Have a question? Stop by the Reference Desk, or contact a librarian by phone, text, or chat for more help.

Depending on what kind of information you are looking for, you can use Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need from NoodleTools to help you determine which is the best search tool or website to use.

Creating an Advanced Google Search

Evaluating Websites

Figuring out whether the information you find online is credible enough for college research can be challenging. Use the P.R.O.V.E.N. Test for Evaluating Sources to determine whether the sources you find are credible:

For more tips on evaluating health information you find online, use the MedlinePlus Guide to Healthy Web Surfing.

The websites below are recommended by the librarians at the Luria Library. The list is arranged alphabetically by subject. It is not listed in recommended order. Please contact a librarian for specific assistance.

California / U.S.

    California Population Data is taken from the latest data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. It provides statistics on population and congressional districts, including demographics, social, economic and housing characteristics by counties and cities in California. It also provides statistics on businesses, including types and sizes of businesses and building permits.

    Calisphere covers the culture and history of California in primary sources, including “photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts.”

    FirstGov is the official web portal for the U.S. government. It provides access to information on the U.S. government and its services. It covers topics such as benefits/grants/loans, businesses/non-profits and immigration/citizenship. It also provides access to government agencies websites (federal, state, local and tribal).

    GPO Access Find Federal Government information through the Federal Digital System which “provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.”

    Public Policy Institute of California provides non-partisan information on social, economic and political issues in California focusing on climate change/energy, correction, economy, fiscal/governance reform, health and human services, higher education, K-12 education, political landscape, population and water.

Career Planning

    Occupational Outlook Handbook is a guide to career information about hundreds of occupations. For each occupation, it provides information such as educational requirements, job responsibilities and working environments, salaries, and job outlook.

Countries / Cultures

    CIA World Fact Book provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 countries.

    Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection includes thousands of digitized maps, which can be downloaded as image files. World, country, state, and local maps are included, as well as historical, thematic, and topographic maps.

eBooks

    Project Gutenberg includes over 45,000 free ebooks that can be read online or downloaded.

General / Multidisciplinary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a directory of scholarly journals in different disciplines and languages that are available for free on the internet.

    Google Scholar searches like Google, but only retrieves credible, scholarly information in various disciplines. It includes journals, books, thesis and court opinions.

    HighWire includes journals, books, reference works and proceedings from independent scholarly publishers, societies, associations and university presses.

    Library of Congress offers a wealth of information from the print as well as the digital collections at the Library. The digital collections include America’s historic newspaper from 1836, America’s historic films and personal accounts of events, just to name a few.

    Open Science Directory includes free journals in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts.

Humanities

    Voice of the Shuttle is a searchable list of thousands of links to humanities and humanities-related resources on the Internet. Topic pages include: Art, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Cyberculture, Dance, History, Literature, Media Studies, Music, Philosophy, Politics and Government, Religious Studies, Sci-Tech and Culture, Technology of Writing, and many others.

Sciences

Social Sciences

    Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan source of facts about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. The Pew Research Center’s Pew Internet & American Life Project conducts surveys that examine how Americans use the internet and how their activities affect their lives.

Statistics

    Data and Statistics from USA.gov provides links to statistical information on a variety of topics such as business, international relations, environment, energy, health, education, law, science, recreation, and transportation.

    U.S. Census Bureau provides access to data about people, business, and geography, from the United States Census.

    World Bank Data provides free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe. Topics include Agriculture, Health, Poverty, Economy, Education, Energy, Science & Technology, Environment, Development, Trade, Gender, and others.

    For more help finding statistical information, check out the Sources of Statistical Information research guide.

Website Citation Guidelines

Here are some resources for creating website and webpage citations in three common styles. If you find other types of sources online (such as books, articles, PDF files, videos, etc.), more resources for creating citations are available on the Citation Guides page. As always, contact us via one of the options in the right-hand menu if you have questions!

APA:

Chicago:

MLA: