Using the internet for research can be an extremely useful tool. Although the internet can be a valuable resource, it is lacking quality control. Anyone can create or publish a website which makes evaluating online sources a critical step when researching.

Learn more about using the online resources below to find reliable, trustworthy sources.

Online Encyclopedias

  • can be as reliable as print encyclopedias.

  • can contain more current information than print encyclopedias depending on the topic.

  • some of the Online Encyclopedias we recommend are:

        Worldbook Online

        (See your library media specialist for username and password)
         Webpath Express
        (Access this from the St. Helena High School Library Catalogue, choose
         Webpath Express on the left menu)

        (no logon required)

Online Academic Databases

  • hold magazines, newspapers, scholarly periodicals that are organized by categories and/or topics.

  • help us find information on a particular topic in a timely manner.

Recommended Online Databases:

  • EBSCO for a variety of research topics.

  • ABC-Clio databases for single subject research. 

Online Searches

  • Search engines, (such as Google), take search terms and look for matches among millions of web pages.

      • Software called spiders or web crawlers find the words on millions of web pages.

      • Humans do not select these web pages.

  • No search engine can search all of the web.

  • For a thorough search use multiple search engines.

  • You will need to critically evaluate web sites and web pages found this way.

(See Evaluating Information to learn more about critically evaluating web sites)
Click for printable PDF - Website Evaluation Form


  • Information specialists select quality web sites for directories and arrange them by topic or category.

  • Some directories are better suited for academic research.

  • The Librarians' Internet Index is a very useful directory developed by the Berkeley Public Library. All websites accessed through this directory have been recommended by a librarian.

  • The Internet Scout Project is another useful directory. It includes annotations that are both descriptive and evaluative. - you will need to create an account the first time you log on. 

Web Sites and Web Pages

  • Web sites do not have to be edited and/or published.

  • Anyone can create a web site.

  • You need to ask: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN & HOW
    • Who is responsible for the site? What are their credentials?

    • What type of information is being given on the site?

    • Where is this site operating from?
      Domains:   .com (business)
      .org (usually non-profit)
      .edu (educational institution)
      .gov (government)
      .net (internet organizations)
      .int (international)
    • Why was this site created?
    • When was the information on this site last updated?
    • How is the information on this site displayed?

Website Evaluation is extremely important!
(See Evaluating Information to learn more about critically evaluating web sites)
Click for printable PDF - Website Evaluation Form

Student Resources

RLS Library catalog
SHHS Library Catalog

SH Public Library 

St Helena Public Library


 EbscoHost Database

ABC CLIO Database
World Book Online
World Book
Google Books
Google Book Search


Citation Generator


Last Modified on October 14, 2013