Hot Topics on the Web Strategies for Research
Subjects (LCSH):Internet searching
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Citation:Karen R. Diaz and Nancy O'Hanlon, "Hot Topics on the Web Strategies for Research," Reference and User Services Quarterly 41, no. 1 (2001): 25-29.
Some of the pitfalls of research on the Web are highlighted and exacerbated when the type of research being done is for "hot," controversial, or debatable topics. Who to trust, where to find the information, and how to determine what is reliable are all questions that will present themselves. However, the resources available on the Web are well suited for addressing many of the challenges of hot topic research. Finding points of view for obscure and well-known advocacy groups, finding the most current legislation on an issue, and finding recent events related to the issue are all actually enhanced and made easier by researching a topic on the Web. Knowing the pitfalls and benefits from the outset can make using the Web much more profitable for hot topics research. By using appropriate sites for topic identification, you can quickly build a useful collection of core sites. By knowing where to identify federal and state legislation, you can determine the state of current policy on a topic. And certainly, the Web is most likely to help with timely news and insight on advocacy groups that might provide no—or hard-to-find—printed materials on their positions. The following strategies and sources will facilitate efficient use of the Web for hot topics research that results in a full, well-informed view of the topic.