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English 201 - A. Medina
September 10, 2007

  • Intro and welcome

  • Reference books and journals on cart

  • Rio Hondo College Library Web site - best place to start research

  • Strategies for finding authoritative web sites

    • Use a subject directory that provides human-selected web sites

    • Search for the .edu domain in search engines

    • Follow up web sites that are cited in scholarly journal articles

  • Strategies for evaluating web sites

  • What about Wikipedia?

    • Criticisms:

      • entries can be written by random people or fanatics who love their subjects and may not always be accurate or balanced;

      • anyone can edit and change entries at any time;

      • some entries may not be backed up by authoritative citations;

      • different versions of a page make it difficult to track for citation purposes.

    • Kudos:

      • democratic (you don’t have to have a PhD to write ‘authoritatively’ on your special subject or niche topic);

      • strives for an NPOV (neutral point of view);

      • self-regulating (vandalism is dealt with swiftly);

      • can provide useful Bibliographies on topics (may be selective).








Web Sites

Gay Rights

· Marriage

·  Adoption

·  Health benefits


“Other Libraries” from Library home page

ProQuest: Search gay rights movement as subject, then refine

- SIRS: download the Gay Rights research guide

- Issues & Controversies @

WebCat -
Use “videorecording” as an additional search term

SIRS – check “Graphics” in results list

Subject Guides from RHCL site

Librarians’ Internet Index

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
This site focuses on international human rights violations against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and those with HIV and AIDS. 

Human Trafficking


WebCat -
Use “Human Trafficking” for your Subject search

ProQuest: Search Human Trafficking as subject, then refine


Other Online Databases:

      - Issues & Controversies

      - CQ Researcher

      - Gale Virtual Reference Library

Same as above

SIRS – check “Graphics” in results list

Subject Guides from RHCL site

UK Human Trafficking Centre
The aim of this Centre in the United Kingdom is to "increase knowledge and understanding of human trafficking amongst police and partner agencies, as well as raise awareness of the issue and encourage the public to come forward with information."
This is an organizational web site funded by the U.S. State Department that contains information on trafficking in many parts of the world.




ProQuest: Use Suggested Topics, see Subject Guide Emigration & immigration

SIRS: Search Immigration as subject, then refine

Other Online Databases:

      - Issues & Controversies (older article, but click on Sidebar topics)

      - Encyclopedia Britannica

      - Gale Virtual Reference Library

     - CQ Researcher (use on campus only)

Same as above

SIRS – check “Graphics” in results list

Subject Guides from RHCL site

Center for Immigration Studies
Non-partisan, non-profit think tank devoted to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.

National Immigration Forum
Pro-immigration site that "advocates and builds public support for public policies that welcome immigrants and refugees and that are fair and supportive to newcomers in our country." 

HPV Vaccine*

(Human Papillomavirus)


WebCat – books on HPV, little on vaccine

For recent news on vaccine:



Other Online Databases:

      - Issues & Controversies
     - Medical articles in Health Ref. Center Academic, Health & Wellness Resource Center, Medline Plus, and Highwire Press 

WebCat -
Try a Video/DVD Search using “Sexually Transmitted Diseases” as a subject

SIRS – consult Sidebars in results list

HPV - Medline Plus

Human Papillomavirus infection - CDC

Human Papillovavirus - National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases

Conflict in Darfur


WebCat -
Use  “Darfur Conflict” for your Keyword search or

Use "Genocide Sudan Darfur" for your Subject search

ProQuest: Search Darfur Conflict as subject.

SIRS: Keyword/natural language search “Darfur conflict” 

Other Online Databases:

      - Gale Virtual Reference Library

      - CQ Researcher (use on campus only)


SIRS – check “Graphics” in results list

Darfur Information This is the Sudan government's web page on Darfur.

Crisis in Darfur - article from the International Crisis Group web site.

The Genocide in Darfur - Briefing Paper


  • Other Tips



    For articles in the form of commentaries, opinions, editorials, do an Advanced Search.

    a.       Fill out your topic word(s) next to the “Citation and Abstract” window.

    b.       Select “Document Type” and a drop-down window will appear -> click on “Commentary” or on “Editorial.”

    c.       Click on “Search.”

    For ongoing or long-term events, use focused search terms or specify a date range


    Now offers “Research Guides” on selected topics. Good value but some sources can be a bit dated. Also look at the individual results that come up from your search.

    Web Sites

    In order to obtain better quality web sites on your topic, perform an Advanced Search on your search engine of choice.  Hint:  Specify the domain from which you want your results to come. For example, for topics marked with * (see chart), try this in Google:

    • HPV vaccine site:gov

    • HPV vaccine site:edu

    Use subject directories - not just search engines  (Why? Because the web sites are selected and evaluated by real persons [usually librarians] and not just generated automatically by a “most popular” algorithm!)

    • Librarians’ Internet Index

    • Infomine


JSevilla-Marzona 02/07

Adapted by JCoe 09/07

Revised by Tania Shabelnik 01/06

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