Take this 10 minute tutorial to find out how and why it's important to find high quality information:

Vaughan University Library - Credible Sources Count

Fake News: An Introduction

Take a look here to avoid misinformation or fake news sites!

Snopes is a good hoax checker
Quote Investigator is a good source for finding the original source for quotes.

Quality Sources of Information:

  • IB guidelines state you should use multiple sources from a variety of places

  • Why? – because each specializes in a different type of information. You also need to demonstrate that you can locate hard-to-find information specific to your information need going well beyond a web search.

  • It's best to check sources in the following order (from general well-established knowledge about your topic to more specific and recent knowledge):

Secondary Sources:


Encyclopedias contain very established knowledge. Encyclopedias are good for getting an overview, setting definitions, finding facts and jotting down key words for database searches. Wikipedia is not considered reliable enough for Academic Research, so make sure to use the school "Brittanica School" school.eb.com online encyclopedia - ask librarians for username and password. Do NOT include references to Wikipedia on your Works Cited list!


– established knowledge that has been well researched. It usually takes about 2 yrs to write a book.
- good for reading fully developed ideas based on research or investigation.
- search the Renaissance library catalogue for books http://destiny.renaissance.edu.vn
- consider Amazon International for purchasing books to be delivered

iTunes U

Over 750,000 high quality audio and video learning resources from the world’s leading education institutions:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/itunes-u/id40000000?mt=10 or available from the App store.

TED Talks



- check out the previews or full books on Google Books.
- There are other places to look for free ebooks - Book Free Spot, Calibre
- Some eBooks are available to purchase online.

Research journals

– current scientific research (usually 6months-2yrs old); this is how ideas become established. Good for collecting hard data and analysis.

- usually found in paid subscription databases, such as in our subscription to JSTOR (login information is on Edmodo Library group or ask Ms. Rhonda)

Magazines, newspapers, & news websites

– news & current affairs - click here or Current Events link on the right sidebar -
We have a subscription to The Economist - ask your teacher or teacher librarian for login details or Register for 3 free online articles/week

Google Scholar
"Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research." Quite often you will only find an abstract, or short summary of the article. If you find an abstract for an article that you think would be perfect for your research, please email Ms. Rhondaand I'll see if I can locate the full article for you.

The Deep Web

Did you know that 70% of the internet is invisible to Google? Databases inside universities, statistics from governments, private collections of web stuff, research for corporations, papers written by large organisations - you need them for your essay - most are invisible to Google, Yahoo, et al.
They are compiled by experts so the quality is very high. They are available on the internet but hidden on secure servers. They are invisible to search engines so you must go to them and search them personally. It's approximately 70% of the internet, it's called the Hidden Web, it's also called the Deep Web - and you need to find it if you want to do a good essay.

This is where you find the Hidden Web: (Open Access Information Databases - no logins required)
****Jurn**** The best for History, Economics, Geography - it collects academic journals on the Humanities. Kinda like R, but open and free. It has Sciences & Maths too, but Humanities is its strength.
DOAJDatabase of academic journals of all types. It searches 2500 free academic journals online.
****DOAR****The sister site to DOAJ. It searches university repositories for collections of theses, articles, and other web stuff.
LSE Digital Library contains LSE Library collections and also born-digital material that has been collected and preserved in digital formats.

TROVE Australian & New Zealand digital theses online for free. Check that the Available Online box is ticked. A thesis is like a mega EE done at university.
****Europeana**** A digital archive - European museums have joined forces to scan and store Europe's cultural heritage. Heaps of books, articles, art, objects, etc - for free.
Same as Trove and Europeana but newly released for USA - The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world.




These websites are suggested by librarian Kendra Perkins for Biology:
(can get full text articles online free)
(full text Biology articles online free)
(large database of websites which tells you if they are free or if there are conditions – great for a large variety of sources)
(this is a great information page on how to find more free scientific papers, it provides links to free websites)

For History by Lars Hansen:
www.economist.com, www.cnn.com, andwww.bbcnews.com .
Different historical periods often have dedicated web pages – for example World War I is well represented and discussed in depth through many articles found on www.1914-1918.net
Digital History: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/
Roy Rozenweig center for Media and History: http://chnm.gmu.edu/
History Channel: http://www.history.com/

Primary Sources Links for History

From Dilshad Rajanov for Physics:
Motion Mountain. The free physics textbook - http://www.motionmountain.net/
Institute of Physics - http://www.iop.org/
The Physics classroom - http://www.physicsclassroom.com/

More Academic Databases

- Some are by subscription and some are free - please see a list here:
Search for your discipline (e.g. Music or Science), then check to see if there are some free databases available for you.

Primary Sources/ Experts

Churchill Archive
Login: Click here
Select ‘School Subscription Login’ (ignore ‘Shibboleth’)
Username: renaissance
Password: riss
(Please note your username and password are case sensitive.)

Some subjects allow or require students to conducting experiments or design surveys to collect their own primary source data. Collecting original data is an excellent way to answer some research questions, and requires high levels of critical thinking to analyse the data. If this is an option or requirement for your Extended Essay - it is highly advisable!

- Many experts in a field of knowledge are happy to share their expertise with young scholars via e-mail, video-conferencing or in person. Be prepared with specific questions or an interview guide so as not to waste time.

World Wide Web - Internet Search

Search the World Wide Web LAST. By the time you've searched the above you've become well acquainted with your topic and can spot relevant and reliable information on the web. Here's a short video to help you speed up your Google Search:
Google Power Search Tips

Ask an information expert

Having trouble finding a specific article or primary source document?
Email to ask your teacher-librarian for help- Ms. Rhonda