The ability to evaluate the suitability of the information to the task at hand becomes a fundamental task when searching through interfaces, which produce large amounts of results. When searching information for your Master's thesis, you must be sure that the found information meets the requirements set for scientific information. The prerequisite of autonomous university studies is the ability to evaluate critically both the information content and the source providing the information.
Be especially aware of the scientific level of Internet sources (e.g. Google). On the other hand, databases that thoroughly select the publications they index (e.g. Web of Science and Scopus) can be considered as quality recommendations for the materials. You will probably get the best result by testing different databases and services.
Accurate use of references is one of the essential features of academic writing (see the instructions). Make sure that you correctly reference all the sources for the information you have included in your work. The ideas that you refer to need to be made explicit by a system of citation. Notice that citation management conventions used in your department always precede general instructions.
When evaluating a single document, consider at least the following dimensions:
- Define the origin of the document. Who is behind this certain publication? Perhaps a university, a prestigious publisher or a community?
- Define the publication date of the document. Is the information on the document up-to-date? Could there be newer publications on this certain subject?
- Define the scientific level of the document. Are the conventions of scientific communication? Do you find cited references and a bibliography in the document?
- Define a possible user-group for the document. For whose interest is this certain document published?
Information seeking is a complex intellectual process. Often the best materials found create new information seeking cycles. Good luck with your thesis!