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ENGL 100 - Peter Bruni: Comparing Economic Systems in the United States - Capitalism and Socialism

Researching the open internet

Open web sources can be searched, typically using search engines such as Google, and are available on the internet without requiring authentication (such as user name & password, or a payment being made).

Because anyone can publish anything online, it is very important to take extra time evaluating these resources.

Data and Polls

Think Tanks & Grey Literature

Research, technical, and statistical reports that are not formally published as books, journal articles, or in a formal manner by commercial publishers fall into the category of "grey literature." They are sometimes hard to find, but think-tanks, lobbying groups, government agencies and inter-governmental organizations often post this type of report on their websites.

It is important to be aware of any bias or point of view represented by the site. Following the funding sources can be helpful in determining this, particularly if the bias or point of view is not identified on the group's website.

The bar graph shows the U.S. think tanks, by level of transparency, 2016. Pew Research Center, Stimson Center, and Woodrow Wilson Center are the most transparent. American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution are the least transparent of those listed.

Chart courtesy of Clemmitt, M. (2017, September 29). Think tanks in transition. CQ researcher27, 797-820. Retrieved from

Government Websites

Other Websites of Interest

TED Talks