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Information resources, tools, and links to help you research Biology and related topics.

Science on the internet

Check out the following sites for news, magazines, and podcasts to stay on top of the hottest science topics! Make sure you critically evaluate all that you read!  Scroll a bit more down the page for strategies to evaluate credibility.

Nature Briefing

News from Science Magazine



Science Daily

Nature Podcasts

NPR Science and Technology Podcasts

Science Daily

News from Scientific American


Evaluating internet sources

When encountering a source on the internet, SIFT*

SIFT methodology

STOP  Don't engage with the source until you've asked yourself if you know the author or the website.  If you don't, more fact-checking is needed before you read or share the source. This is also where you should stop and think if you trust this source only because it reinforces a personal/community bias or perception.

INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE Knowing the expertise and the agenda of the source is vital in the decision to trust the information.  Read laterally: get off the page you are on and look around the web to see what else is out there about this source.  Wikipedia can be a great help here.

FIND BETTER COVERAGE  Sometimes you can't determine the credibility of a source or you are less concerned about the source and are more interested in a specific claim the source has made.  Go find another source (maybe one that you already know that you can trust) that is talking about this concept and investigate the claim from there.  Make use of the Oxy Library databases to investigate research claims!

TRACE TO ORIGINAL CONTEXT Go upstream to the original source.  An article, video, or post that you are viewing may have originally been reported by another source (reporting on a report).  Find the original source of the report and determine if the version of what you are seeing is being accurately represented.

*SIFT infographic and method from Introduction to College Research by Walter D. Butler; Aloha Sargent; and Kelsey Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. 

Additional Tips

Watch out for clickbait!  Don't share information that you've gleaned only from a headline even if it is from a source that can be trusted.

Read laterally!

  • Lateral reading entails conducting quick and strategic web searches to learn the context of sources and claims.  This happens OFF the site/post you are questioning.
  • Vertical reading entails using the information ON the site/post to validate it such as reading the "about" section or scrolling to the bottom to see if the creator(s) are listed.  It can give you ideas about what to fact check when you do your lateral reading but to verify unfamiliar sources, you should always use lateral reading.

Remember, media and how a person is represented in it can make us think that we know someone we've never met before.

If a site does provide sources, check them out!