At any stage of your academic journey, you need to be able to verify the information you use in your research and writing. When you're getting started you should aim to:
When you want to find some information, it can be tempting to go straight to Google. This may be the best resource, depending on why you want that information, but when searching for information to support your academic work you should consider other, authoritative resources, first.
Authoritative, or credible, resources contain reliable, high quality information. This is usually because it has gone through some process of selection based on quality criteria.
Often library resources will contain only peer reviewed material, for example, which means that it has been assessed by experts in the relevant field to ensure it is reliable.
A great place to start is Explore, UCL's library catalogue and gateway to online resources. Also look on our subject guides for authoritative resources for your subject.
If you do decide to use a search engine, like Google, then it's important that you think critically about the information you have found to establish if it is a source you should use.
Think critically about any information you find and make a judgment as to whether it is appropriate to use in the academic context. Consider: