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UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

Field Guide to Research Sources

What type of source did you find? Use this field guide to identify it.


What they are: “Webpage” is a generic term for information viewed in a web browser that does not fit any other category.


What they give you: Potentially anything. Webpages can cover any topic. Some webpages are good sources for academic research, but most are not. Before you cite a webpage, make sure that it's a good source.


How to spot them: Don't assume that, because you found a source on the Internet, it should be cited as a webpage. Many things that are commonly called “webpages” are actually other types of sources, such as reports or reviews or magazine articles or newspaper articles.

Remember: Only if the source does not fit in any other category should you cite it as a webpage.