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BOS 101: Boston Childhoods: Finding Popular Sources

Statistics and Public Data

The ABCs of Evaluating Websites

If you’re trying to evaluate a website, keep these ABCs in mind as you review your sources for quality:

Authority - Is the website's author listed along with his/her credentials?  Usually a URL with .edu, .org is more reliable and .net

Bias - Is the website objective, presenting both sides of an issue? Or, is the information presented to sway the audience to a particular point of view?  Who is the audience?  A certain political group, adults, children, researchers?  Depending on your purpose for using the website, the intended audience needs to be taken into consideration.

Currency - Is the website current, providing the 'created' date and 'last updated' information?

Note: One or more of the ABCs may be more important in evaluating a website, depending on the information you need.  For example, medical and scientific information usually needs to be current.  If you are trying to take a stand on an issue, a biased database may be acceptable as long as it is coming from a reliable source (authority).

Fact Checking Websites (video)

Google Search Tips

You may already be familiar with searching in Google to find just about any kind of information you could want. Be judicious about the sources you find through Google, especially if you might use them for an assignment. To help you find quality grey source websites you can use a top-level domain search to specify what kind of sites you want Google to target in your results. 

For example:​

  • .edu (education) 
  • .gov (government) 
  • .org (organization)

Boston at a Glance


  • The MetroBoston DataCommon provides a wealth of information about the region’s people and communities through a variety of topics -- from arts and education to the environment and transportation.

Boston Redevelopment Authority: Research Publications

  • The BPDA's Research department compiles and analyzes current, historical, and comparative data on the city of Boston. The department conducts research on Boston's economy, population, and commercial markets

Boston Redevelopment Authority: Frequently Requested Information

  • This page features publications covering the most requested economic and demographic data for Boston. 

Boston Redevelopment Authority: Maps & GIS

  • View maps of demographic, economic, and other data for the City of Boston. You can also use the BostonMaps Demographics Atlas to explore data for individual neighborhoods.

City of Boston Immigrant Resources

  • Resources for legal aid, community resources, and ESOL directories. 
  • Data and reports about BPS
  • Crowdsourced neighbrohood information and interactive maps
  • Links to tons of health statistic reports and tools

This pictorial essay: Health Inequalities in Boston by T-Stopsis an engaging, visual way to connect health inequalities to Boston neighborhoods. These articles are the sources used to build the visual elements.

Boston Newspapers

Below are links to the current and historical versions of the newspapers that serve the city of Boston.

Boston Magazines