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Information Technology: Finding Reliable Information on the Internet

This guide contains resources and guidance to help students studying Computer Science and Information Systems.

Information on the internet


We all use Google, but when you're looking for information on the internet, it's important to check that your information is reliable and not the work of someone that is looking to spread misinformation. 
The internet is useful for finding information like: 

  • Fact sheets 
  • Open data 
  • Government policies 
  • Guidelines and procedures 
  • Reference information 

If you are not sure if the information you found is sound, you can use our techniques for evaluating information.

Evaluating information


It's extremely important that you evaluate each source before using them in your assessments, particularly if you are using information you found on the internet. Have a look at this video to see how to evaluate webpages.

The C.R.A.P Test

There are many different ways to evaluate information, but one of the best and easiest ways is the C.R.A.P Test. The C.R.A.P test evaluates a source based on the following criteria:

  • CURRENCY: When was it written? Is it current enough for your topic?
  • RELEVANCE: Does it relate to your topic or answer your question? 
  • AUTHORITY: Who created the information? What makes the author an expert (credentials, known and respected)? 
  • PURPOSE / POINT OF VIEW: Why was it written? Is the author’s purpose to sell, persuade, entertain, or inform?

Using Google to locate information


Google is often the way to find information online. There are 2 simple searching tips that can help you quickly locate sources. You can use these tips by themselves or combine them. 

Tip 1: Search by File Type

Reports are most often shared in PDF format on websites. By limiting your search by file type, it can help you locate reports.

To do this, add the phrase filetype:pdf into your google search. 

Google Web Search

Tip 2: Search by Domain

Filtering your search results by the domain will help you filter your search down to specific types of websites. For example, if I was looking for government reports I could filter my search to Australian government websites by adding to your search.

Other domains you could try include:

  • .org or for organisations
  • .edu or for educational institutions
  • for Australian websites
Google Web Search