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Library Resources for S309: Indiana and Kentucky County Data Resources

Approaching your search

Searching for data about the county you're researching will require persistence, creativity, and solid search skills. There are lots of different websites for a wide variety of agencies, organizations, and government entities. They all look different. Some sites are intuitively organized and easy to navigate. Others are not. Some sites have useful search functions. Others do not. You'll have to do some digging to find what you're looking for and be thorough in your exploration of these sites. The sites listed in this box below is not an exhaustive list. There could be other sites out there with information you need. However, I've tried to curate a list of local agencies and organizations that will connect you with the data you need for this assignment. 

Website Evaluation Criteria

Almost anyone can have a web page. So some information on the Web is biased, undocumented, or just plain wrong. You will need to evaluate web sites for accuracy, audience, authority, currency, objectivity, and purpose. Here is a checklist you can use:

Accuracy:

  • Does the author cite reliable sources for their acts?
  • How does the information compare with that in other works written about this topic?

Audience:

  • Who do you think the author/s of the web site are trying to reach?
  • Is there a particular group or segment of society that the author/s are targeting?

Authority:

  • What are the author's qualifications for writing on this subject?
  • Are they connected with an organization that has an established reputation?

Currency:

  • Does the web site include a publication date or "last updated" date?

Objectivity:

  • Is the author affiliated with a particular organization that might have a bias?

Purpose:

  • Is the author's purpose to inform, e.g. provide new information, current events, etc?
  • Is the author's purpose to explain, e.g. describe a process, teach, etc?
  • Is the author's purpose to persuade, e.g. change your mind, convince you to buy, etc?

Online Resources for Information about Indiana and Kentucky Counties