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U.S. / Brazil Comparative Environmental Law: Evaluating Internet Resources

This guide will assist you in finding Brazilian Environmental Law through foreign law research guides; linking to sources of Brazilian law; and locating secondary sources, publishing resources, and translation tools.

Factors to look for in evaluating websites include:

  • Authority
    • Can you identify the author or where the information is coming from?
    • What are the credentials of the author? (schooling, work experience, previous writing, affiliation)
  • Objectivity
    • Is there any obvious bias?
    • Who sponsors the website?
    • Is it fact or opinion?
    • Are sources provided?
  • Timeliness
  • Currency
    • Is the website dated or is there any information about when it was last updated?
    • Do the links work?
  • Coverage
    • What is and is not provided?
  • Appearance
    • Does it look professional?
    • Are there simple spelling or grammar mistakes?
    • Is the website sponsored or affiliated with a known organization?
    • What is the purpose of the website?
    • Who is the target audience?

Always make sure to look at websites with a critical eye. If you have questions about the legitimacy of a website or its information, try to verify it or speak to a librarian.

  • Google and Yahoo are estimated to cover only 3% to 34% of documents available on the Internet
  • Much Internet exists as the "Invisible Web", hidden from search engines for a number of reasons:
    • Site requires registration
    • Site is fee-based or licensed
    • Site is behind a firewall or on an intranet
    • Site is dynamically generated

Wikipedia describes itself as "the free encyclopedia anyone can edit."  Read Wikipedia's ever-growing list of disclaimers--"Wikipedia Makes No Guarantee of Validity."  It's not a good idea to rely on the information you find here--you can use it to start your research, but never quote from it in a research paper. It also should never be the only place that you look when you are researching.