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Astronomy (Physics 1500) - Final Project: Web Resources

This guide is designed for use by students of Mr. Peterlin's Astronomy course to complete their final project.

Searching the Web for Astronomy Sources

There is a wealth of valuable information related to astronomy that is freely available on the web. Just remember that information you find on the web needs to be evaluated carefully.

Consider the criteria listed below when selecting your information source materials for your final project bibliography. Use the questions listed to guide your feedback of two citations created by two of your classmates in the discussion board. You do not need to address all of the questions, but think analytically about each source for which you provide a comment. What makes the source current, relevant, authoritative, and/or unbiased?


1. Currency:

  • When was the book or journal article published, or when was the website last updated?
  • Is the information out of date? Is there more recent information about the topic that is available?
  • For websites, do the links appear to be working? And, are they related to the topic/s of the website?

2. Relevancy:

  • What is the purpose of the information source? Is the information source intended to inform, advocate, sell, slander, etc? Is it ironic (a satire or a parody)? How can you tell what its purpose is?
  • How well does the information source relate to your topic? Does it only address one part of your topic, or is it more broadly related? Do you need additional information sources to address different parts of your topic?

3. Authority:

  • What person or group is responsible for the information in your source?
  • Can you find contact information for that person or group?
  • Is the author or organization a qualified source, or an expert in their field? What credentials and/or affiliations listed on the source show evidence of authority?
  • For websites, what type of domain name does the website have (.com, .org., .edu, .gov, .net)? Or, does it have some other domain?

4. Objectivity/Bias:

  • Who is the intended audience for the information source (student, professional, general etc.)? What helped you decide who the intended audience is?
  • Does the information source have a bias? If so, describe the position taken on the issue.
  • If is appears the information source has a bias, what is an example of the loaded language that helps you recognize it?
  • Are the statements, opinions, and/or statistics given in the information source supported with references?

Suggested Websites

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