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PHC190 Research Skills Guide: Current Information

Introduction

When searching for information on current topics it can be useful to locate news media articles and reputable websites. These sources are generally among the first places that current topics are discussed, can provide background information on a topic and may lead you to scholarly sources of information such as legislation, parliamentary reports and scholarly articles.

However, when sourcing information from news reports or websites remember to critically evaluate to ensure that the information they contain is of a scholarly nature and appropriate for use in university assessment tasks. You can use the CRAP test criteria to evaluate these information sources or take a look at the How to evaluate internet sources video and Evaluate internet sources box on this page.

Reputable Websites

Use a search engine such as Google to locate suitable websites. As a general rule site domains are a good indicator of credibility. Government sites, which use the domain .gov, and educational sites, which use the domain .edu, are generally considered reputable.

To help locate these more credible sites you can limit your searches to a particular domain:

  • Try searching for the terms: ethical practice "emergency services" (quotation marks are applied to words you want to search for as a phrase)
  • Add site:.gov.au to your search, this will limit your search results to those using the domain .gov.au (Australian Government sites) e.g:

For more information on using Internet sources take a look at our Using Google effectively and Evaluating Information videos.

Australia & New Zealand Newsstream

Australia & New Zealand Newsstream (previously known as ANZ Newsstand) is a ProQuest database which includes the full-text of Australian and New Zealand newspapers.

Open Australia & New Zealand Newsstream and try searching for the terms: mandatory sentenc* AND emergency workers. Use a separate search row for each concept, the asterisk * is a truncation symbol used to broaden your search. Alternatively try searching for keywords you identified in your own topic analysis.

Australia & New Zealand Newstream

Click Preview to see an abstract of each article and click the Full Text links to access the whole article.

Evaluate internet resources

The type of domain provides you a hint as to the reliability of the website at which you are looking.

.edu (educational institution)

.gov (government)

 

These are more likely to be reliable and unbiased.

.org (non-profit organisation)

.asn (non-commercial organisation)

Sometimes these organisations can be biased toward one side of an issue that is actually quite complex.

.com (commercial site)

.net (network)

Try to avoid these sites as they are likely to be unreliable.

.net is the domain given to any site that doesn't fit into the other domain categories.

If you find a .com or .net site that you think is ok, look at the currency, reliability, authority and purpose to see if your suspicion is supported by evidence.

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