Your best approach to finding sources really depends on the conspiracy theory that you choose. Some conspiracy theories are classic and have been around for a long time, such as conspiracies involving the assassination of JFK or the moon landing. For those kinds of conspires you'll probably find plenty of resources including books, articles, even scholarly articles. For some more recent conspiracy theories you may only find news articles or possibly just web sites.
OneSearch let's you search almost all of the Library's database all at once so you'll save time and still find the best books, news or scholarly articles and media for your topic.
If you have no luck in OneSearch you probably have a very recent conspiracy theory and will have to rely on websites. Your challenge is finding credible information. If you are relying on websites make sure you use the techniques below to evaluate them.
No matter where you start your search, you can experiment with adding terms like consipoary plus you topic to get more focused results.
As a college student you know that your job is to evaluate the sources you use for your papers, presentations and research. But how do you do it?
Find the author’s credentials
Look for information like the author's education, experience, occupation, position, and other publications by the author to help you determine whether the author knows about their subject.
What sources did the author use?
The amount and type of documentation used affects the value of your source and may help you verify the facts or conclusions presented. Resources that include documentation are considered more reliable and scholarly and are more suitable for college level research.
Your instructors know that having documentation makes it easier to evaluate a work--that's why it's usually required on your research papers! Documentation of sources includes:
Where to find the documentation
Documentation is usually at the end of a book, article, or Web page.
The date of publication can affect the value of a source.
If you are researching computer information, even a year old may be obsolete. If you are researching literature, resources that are 50 years old may still be valid. So when your source was written can make a difference on how much value it can bring to your research, or even if it can be used.
Frequently your instructor may restrict your resources to a given time period relative to the subject, such as no older then 5 years.
The publication info is also what you will need to use to make a citation for your source if you did not grab a citation from OneSearch for books or from our databases for articles, eBooks or streaming media. Websites generally make it a little harder to gather that info and cite, but Zoterobib can help you out there if the website has made that info available.
Reviewed or edited articles are more closely scrutinized to help ensure accuracy and value. Books are submitted by authors to publishers who review them before they agree to publish the book. Professional or scholarly articles go through the most evaluation and tend to be the most accurate and credible. Websites vary, but many have no review, fact checking or editing, can be very inaccurate and are generally the least credible.
Where to find in Books or Articles
Check the front of the periodical or book for information on the editing, review and selection process for that periodical. Some databases such as Gale PowerSearch, OneSearch and OneFile, ProQuest PowerSearch let you limit your search to scholarly or peer reviewed journals.
Where to Find on Websites
Websites may have this information at the beginning or end of a page or on the home page of the site, but are much less likely to have been reviewed.
These sites collect and review news stories. Use then to see if the story you are wondering about is true.