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Psych 01 - General Psychology: Web Resources

Guide to library research sources and APA citation

How do I determine if a website is reliable?

Evaluating Websites and Other Sources


  • Who is the author?
  • Why was it written -- for what purpose, organization, or audience?
  • When was it written?
  • Does it include references or a works cited list?

If you cannot determine the credibility of the information you are using, especially from a website, it's best not to use it to factually support your argument. Using biased or inaccurate information in your paper can negatively impact your grade.

Selected Psychology Web Sites

  • American Psychology Association’s PsychNet 
    The American Psychological Association’s Web site is a true megasite, and it is a good place to start Web surfing for psychology students and professionals alike. 

    Services offered include documents on psychology, information about undergraduate and graduate education in psychology, listings and descriptions of APA’s books, journals, and conferences, information about APA divisions, job listings, and much more.  
  •  National Institute of Mental Health 
    This government site contains information on mental disorders and their treatment, conference proceedings, research updates, news, and upcoming events. 
  • Psychology Today 
    Research, commentary and news. The companion site to the print publication Psychology Today

About using Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great tool for a summary of a topic. Wikipedia content is constantly revised, and entries vary in quality. Some of the content is excellent, some is questionable.

Many educators frown on the use of Wikipedia. Why?

  • Wikipedia content is not necessarily written by subject experts, and may be inadequate or incorrect.
  • Articles in Wikipedia may be changed or deleted between viewings.
  • For research papers, you need authoritative resources, so it is absolutely necessary to consult other sources.
  • Anyone can search Google or find a Wikipedia article. To demonstrate academic skill, it is important to go beyond these basic tools.

How can you use Wikipedia in a way that benefits your research process?

  • Scan the article to get general information and terms you can use as keywords for further searching.
  • Scan the article for references. Sometimes these can lead you to excellent books or articles that you can find at the EVC Library or through our collection of databases.
  • Don't reference Wikipedia articles in your paper, unless you are pointing out something specific to Wikipedia.
  • As you read Wikipedia articles, you may read notations that call for more evidence, or call attention to bias. These are very constructive principles that apply to your own work. What if Wikipedia editors read your work? Would they mark areas for revision?