Skip to Main Content

Assignment | Iconography Final Project (McGinley): Finding Sources

ARTS 1301 | Prof. Mike McGinley (Fall 2022)

Scholarly Articles

News Articles

Ancient destruction not covered in these so much, but more modern periods, sure. Restoration work also gets reported on.


Books, as a medium, contain a variety of presentations of information, from the casual, popular histories all the way to scholarly books. You can recognize the latter by checking the publisher (usually a university press, might be a professional society) and the author's credentials (probably a PhD); like a scholarly article, there will be copious citations provided.


No random websitesResearch means more than just Googling some likely terms and picking something easy off the first page of results. Consider:

Besides keywords, there are an estimated 200 factors that affect Google's page rankings, including:

  • sites paying to promote their pages,
  • what computer and browser you're using,
  • when the site was last updated,
  • how the site is structured,
  • what other people have clicked on or linked to,
  • and even what kind of pages you've searched for in the past.

Notice that "accuracy" or "reliability" don't make the list.

You can streamline the quality of your Google searches by focusing on government (.gov) and education (.edu) domains in your results.

  • .gov is the most strict to register -- non-government entities can't get it!
  • is mostly universities, but you'll sometimes come across some K-12 entities with this domain.
    • The big thing to watch out for is that you're not finding a student paper or project that's been posted on the university domain. Presumably their work is pretty good since it's being shown off publicly, but undergrads are not yet academic experts in their fields (sorry).
  • .org is somewhat reliable, but it's barely a step above a .com in many cases -- it doesn't take much to form an "organization" to register this domain.


Google has some advanced search commands to make this quicker. Just add site:___ to your search. E.g. or even just Try it below!


Google Web Search


(I'll assume you can find your own way to YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

Accessing the Databases

Access online library materials through the library databases!

Student ID BadgeBrowse by subject area

To access the databases locked icon (same icon that displays by the LSC-limited access resources) from off-campus, you will be prompted to enter your 14-digit library barcode.

Don't have one yet? Request a barcode number online.

Evaluating Information

The CRAAP Test

Evaluate your source's...


CRAAP test factors: Currency, Relevance, Accuracy, Authority, Purpose

Also, The Three Rs

Is your source
Recent? Reliable? Relevant?

Is this source up-to-date? Is it about my topic, and does it go into enough depth? Does it come from an authoritative source? Is the information accurate (and are there citations given to back it up)? And why was this information written in the first place?