Revamped by Will Ferrall
Performing Research
Electronic sources and the Internet: The Differences
What professors mean when they say you can't use the Internet or the World Wide Web
Professors have good reasons to prohibit students from using the Internet or World Wide Web to write academic papers. Aside from the difficulty determining the author of a website, web pages also change more rapidly than books or periodicals. The information you cite may not be available for those trying to check your sources.
If you have been told not to use Internet sources, do not be hesitant to use computers to perform your research. There are many incredibly useful sources available online that are academically acceptable. The chart below gives you examples of just of a few of the MANY available sources to which the Courtright Memorial Library subscribes, as well as sources you should avoid.
Acceptable Electronic Resources
Sources to Avoid
  • Academic Search Complete
  • Business Source Complete
  • Lexis-Nexis
  • Oxford Reference Online
  • America: History and Life
  • PsychINFO

To use these and many others go to and look under Find Articles and More. From there, choose either 'Subject' or 'Title' from the 'Select One' drop-down box.

  • Search engines such as Google or Yahoo! that do not include the person or organization responsible.
  • Pornographic or inappropriate sites
  • Free web hosting sites such as Geocities (these are websites in which anyone can post anything, true or not)
  • Wikipedia
    (unless your professor says otherwise)


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