How Do Psychology Students Use Web-based Information? Trends & Implications From a Descriptive Study

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North American Journal of Psychology




In the present study, we examined the trends for citing Web-based information in undergraduate-authored publications. An examination of 276 articles from three different undergraduate journals published between 1999 and 2008 revealed several interesting trends: 1) the use of Web-based information has increased over time, 2) many (41%) of the Web-based sources are non-authoritative, and 3) the majority (53%) of Web-based sources' URLs were inactive. The results expanded on the external validity of previous research, showing that undergraduate authors in psychology are at risk for citing non-authoritative, untraceable Web-based information. Further implications for the field of psychology and the current methods for educating undergraduates about citing Webbased information, are discussed.

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