What are they? Computer programs that search documents for a specified word or words and provide a list of documents in which they are found. Google, Bing and Yahoo! Search are among the most popular. See leading technology information and advice website Lifewire's The Best Search Engines of 2020 for more.
Limit your search to domains that are considered to be more reliable by combining your search term(s) with the phrase site:gov OR site:edu which will limit your results to the domain .gov (websites originating from the U.S. government) and the domain .edu for educational institutions in the U.S. Note: be aware that universities may allow their students to use their edu domain. If there is a tilde (~) in the address, it may be a personal student page which is not monitored by the institution. Also note that information residing in the gov domain, while still generally reliable, may be incomplete at this time (11/18/20).
What are they? Also known as web directories, these lead users to websites selected and reviewed by scholars, librarians, and teachers, and organized by subjects.
Wikipedia's general disclaimer: "Wikipedia cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. The content of any given article may recently have been changed, vandalized or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the relevant fields."
Use the CRAAP Test to Evaluate Websites
CRAAP = Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.
Currency: the timeliness of the information
Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs
Authority: the source of the information
Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content
Purpose: the reason the information exists
The CRAAP Test was developed by Sarah Blakeslee and her colleagues at Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.