Critical Evaluation Why Evaluate What You Find on the Web? Anyone can put up a web page about anything Many pages not kept up-to-date No quality control most sites not peer-reviewed (less trustworthy than scholarly publications) no selection guidelines for search engines
Before you click to view the page... Look at the URL - personal page or site? ~ or % or users or members Domain name appropriate for the content? edu, com, org, net, gov, ca, us, uk, etc. Published by an entity that makes sense? News from its source? Advice from a valid agency?
Scan the perimeter of the page Can you tell who wrote it? name of page author organization, institution, agency you recognize contact by itself not enough Credentials for the subject matter? Look for links to: About us Philosophy Background Biography
Scan the perimeter of the page (continued) Is it recent or current enough? Look for last updated date - usually at bottom If no links or other clues... truncate back the URL From: /nute/FScareers.html /nute/FScareers.html To:
Web Evaluation Techniques Indicators of Quality Are sources documented? Examples: links, footnotes, etc. -Are they as detailed as you expect in print publications? Do the links work? Is the information altered or forged? What about the links to other resources? Are they biased, slanted?
Web Evaluation Techniques What Do Others Say? Search a URL in alexa.comalexa.com Who links to the site? Who owns the domain? Which sites are getting the most visits? What information are people seeking? See what links are in Googles Similar Pages Look up the pages author in Google
Web Evaluation Techniques Does it all add up? Why was the page put on the Web? To inform with facts and data? To explain, persuade? To sell, entice? To share, disclose? As a parody or satire? Is it appropriate for your purpose?
Looking for articles but want to use Google? Try this instead…
Now compare your Google search results to your Google Scholar search results...
But first, setup your Google Scholar Preferences Search a controversial topic in Google: "illegal immigrants" crime
Access the site at scholar.google.comscholar.google.com Click Scholar Preferences – and search for Bay Path in the Library Links box and save your changes Now, when you search, you can see if you have instant access to Full-Text articles right in your search results
Which search results would you rather use in your research? Search a controversial topic in Google: "illegal immigrants" crime
Use Subject Directories to find good web sites Search a controversial topic in Google: "illegal immigrants" crime
Small Directories Built by information specialists Selected, evaluated, annotated Organized into subject categories examples: ipl2 (http://www.ipl.org) Hosted by The iSchool at Drexel, College of Information Science and Technology, with major support from the College of Information at Florida State University Infomine By UC consortium of library professionals Academic Info By a librarian in Arizona
Larger Directories Google Web directory 5+ million pages - less than 0.04% of Google web About.com – a collection of specialized directories search by subject Yahoos directory 4 million unevaluated pages - about 0.06% of Yahoo! search
Try Some Sample Searches ipl2 INFOMINE Google Web Directory
Reference Universe Use Reference Universe to find the right authoritative, introductory article and establish a solid foundation for your research. Your research will be better, and you'll save time.
Access Reference Universe throughReference Universe the Hatch Virtual Library to search for authoritative information in electronic reference books
Google is just the tip of the iceberg, so dont forget to search deeper!
Visit these sites to learn more: Evaluating Information Found on the Internet Evaluating Information Found on the Internet Evaluating the Quality of Information on the Internet Evaluating the Quality of Information on the Internet Evaluating Web Sites: Criteria and Tools
Need more assistance? Were here to help! us directly at or through our Ask a Librarian page. Ask a Librarian