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Hey there! Have you evaluated? Is that site good enough to cite?

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Presentation on theme: "Hey there! Have you evaluated? Is that site good enough to cite?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Hey there! Have you evaluated? Is that site good enough to cite?

2 Hmmm. This one looks good. How can I tell for sure?

3 It’s okay to be confused ! ·There are billions of websites out there ·Many of them are not worthy of your time and don’t belong in your bibliographies! ·Sometimes it’s very hard to tell treasure from trash ·Sometimes Web developers don’t want you to understand the difference

4 Remember: Anyone can publish anything on the Web! It is your job, as a researcher, to look for quality!

5 Okay, so how do we know if a site is good? Yeah, and how can we be sure our teacher will think it’s good enough to cite?


7 C REDIBILITY / AUTHORITY :  Who is the author?  What are his or her credentials? Education? Experience? Affiliation?  Does the author’s experience really qualify him or her as an expert?  Does he or she offer first-hand credibility? (For instance, a Vietnam veteran or a witness to Woodstock?)  Who actually published this page?  Is this a personal page or is it part of the site belonging to a major institution? (Clues pointing to a personal page: ~ tilde, %, users, members)  Is the page hosted by a free server like AOL, Tripod, Geocities?

8 But what if I can’t find any author information?

9 Look for credibility clues! ·Words and phrases to look for: ·About us ·Who Am I ·FAQs ·For More ·Company Information ·Profiles ·Our Staff ·Home ·E-mail the author ·If you have no information other than an e-mail link, write a polite e-mail asking for more information.

10 More credibility clues (What do others think?)  Do a link check  In Google or AltaVista typeGoogleAltaVista link:siteaddress Example: Type in: “link: html” html  Your results will show which other sites have chosen to link to this page. If respectable institutions have linked to a site, that provides a clue about the site’s credibility.  Does the site appear in major subject directories like Librarian’s Index to the Internet (

11 Truncate the URL [truhng-keyt] verb 1. to shorten by cutting off a part; cut short: Truncate detailed explanations.  Delete characters in the address line up to the next slash mark to see if a main page offers more information about who is responsible for publishing the page you are interested in. Go from: · · · · ·

12 Still more credibility clues If you have an author’s name but no further information about credentials,  Search the name in quotation marks in a search engine or online database  On the Web, include words like profile, resume, or C.V. (curriculum vitae--an academic resume) to narrow your name search  You might also include the name of a college or association you can connect with the person  Search the name in biographical sources on- and offline  Ask Mrs. Stauss or Mrs. Stendardi for help

13 Red Flags for source credibility ·Anonymity – no author or sponsoring entity ·Negative reviews by other sources ·Misspelled words and poor grammar ·Vague or sweeping generalizations ·One-sided viewpoint that does not address an opposing side

14 Red Flags ·Intemperate tone or language ("stupid jerks," "shrill cries of my extremist opponents") ·Overclaims ("Thousands of children are murdered every day in the United States.") ·Sweeping statements of excessive significance ("This is the most important idea ever conceived!") ·Conflict of Interest ("Welcome to the Old Stogie Tobacco Company Home Page. To read our report, 'Cigarettes Make You Live Longer,' click here." or "The products our competitors make are dangerous and bad for your health.")

15 Red Flags ·Numbers or statistics presented without an identified source for them ·Absence of source documentation when the discussion clearly needs such documentation ·You cannot find any other sources that present the same information or acknowledge that the same information exists (lack of corroboration)

16 A CCURACY:  Can facts, statistics, or other information be verified through other sources?  Based on your knowledge, does the information seem accurate? Is the information inconsistent with information you learned from other sources?  Is the information second hand? Has it been altered?  Do there appear to be errors on the page (spelling, grammar, facts)?

17 Practice checking for accuracy with a few of these sites! ·California’s Velcro Crop Under Challenge · ·Facts About Series · ·Republic of Cascadia: Bureau of Sasquatch Affairs ·

18 R ELIABILITY: Does the source present a particular view or bias (favoritism towards one side)? Is the page affiliated (have connections) with an organization that has a particular political or social agenda? Is the page selling a product? Can you find other material to offer balance so that you can see the bigger picture? Was the information found in a paid placement or sponsored result from the search engine? Information is seldom neutral. Sometimes a bias is useful for persuasive essays or debates. Understanding bias is important.

19 Visit these websites. Ask yourself: Do they present any bias? Be prepared to share your thoughts. Capital Punishment: 1. 2. 3. Multnomah County Library’s Social Issues page offers links to sites on all sides of major issues: Considering Bias

20 R ELEVANCE : ·Does this information directly support my hypothesis/thesis or help to answer my question? ·Can I eliminate or ignore it because it simply doesn’t help me?

21 D ATE: ·When was this information created? ·When was it revised? ·Are these dates meaningful in terms of your information needs? ·Has the author of the page stopped maintaining it? ·(Be suspicious of undated material.)

22 S OURCES BEHIND THE TEXT: ·Did the author bother to document his or her sources? use reliable, credible sources? ·Were those references popular, scholarly, reputable? ·Are those sources real? Have you or your librarian heard of or been able to verify them? ·Is the material reproduced (accurately) from another publication? ·What kind of links did the author choose? ·Are the hyperlinks reliable, valuable? ·Do the links work?

23 S COPE / PURPOSE:  Does this source address my hypothesis/thesis/question in a comprehensive way?  Is it material I can read and understand?  Is it too simple? Is it too challenging?  Who is the intended audience?  Why was this page created? To inform or explain? To persuade? To sell?

24 What can you learn from a URL? ·You can use the end, or suffix of a domain name to help you judge the validity of the information and the potential bias of a website. ·This strategy is only a guideline. People can easily purchase domains that do not reflect their actual purpose.

25 URLs as clues to content ·.com =commercial sites (vary in their credibility) ·.gov =U.S. government site ·.org =organization, often non-profit. Some have strong bias and agendas ·.edu =school or university site (is it K-12? By a student? By a scholar?) ·.store =retail business ·.int =international institution ·.ac =educational institution ( ·.mil =U.S. military site ·.net =networked service provider, Internet administrative site ·.museum =museum ·.name =individual Internet user ·.biz =a business ·.pro =professional’s site ·~ =personal site

26 What do their URLs reveal about these sites? · · · ·

27 Remember, the free Web is not your only choice? ·Did you use print sources? ·Did you search subscription databases? ·Did you check with your teacher-librarian for advice?

28 Evaluating Blogs ·Who is the blogger? This may be challenge with so many blogs offering spotty or nonexistent “about” pages. That may be a clue in itself. ·What sorts of materials is the blogger reading or citing? Does this blogger have influence? Who and how many people link to the blog? Who is commenting? Does this blog appear to be part of a community? The best blogs are likely to be hubs for folks who share interests with the blogger. ·Is this content covered in any depth, with any authority? How sophisticated is the language, the spelling? ·Is this blog alive? It there a substantial archive? How current are the posts? ·At what point in a story’s lifetime did the post appear? Examining a story’s date may offer clues as to the reliability of a blog entry. ·Is the site upfront about its bias? Does it recognize/discuss other points of view? (For certain information tasks–an essay or debate or student blog–bias may be very useful. You need to recognize it. If the blogger is not a traditional “expert,” is this a first-hand view that would be valuable to your research? ·Is it a unique perspective? ·Tools like Technorati and Blogpulse can help you assess the influence of a blog.TechnoratiBlogpulse

29 So, why should we care about all of this?

30 There are bigger questions in life! You will be using information to make important decisions! ·Which car should I buy? ·Which doctor should I choose? ·Should my child have this surgery? ·Should I take this medication? ·You want to be able to ensure the information you choose is reliable, credible, current, balanced, relevant, and accurate!

31 Just as you evaluate your sources... I will evaluate your work based on the quality of the sources you select. Evaluate carefully. Don’t settle for good enough! Quality always counts!

32 Evaluation is important! Learn to be fussy!

33 Choosing a resource ·Your topic is acid rain and its effect on automobile paint. Would you be more likely to find relevant information in: A.A brochure advertising Ford’s newest “Green” models B.A National Geographic article on changing weather patterns C.A study conducted by BMW on exterior paint for cars D.ICAR research on automobile safety in hurricane force wind and rain

34 Answer: ·The correct answer is C because it specifically refers to automobile exterior paint. ·All of the other sources listed do not refer to automobile paint. They may deal with rain – but nothing indicates they refer to acid rain. Therefore,

35 Which website? For a research paper on the history of the sport of lacrosse, which website will be the most relevant and reliable? (home page of the Great Atlantic Lacrosse Company, which sells lacrosse equipment) B. (home page of US Lacrosse, the governing body over men and women’s lacrosse teams in the US) (website of Lacrosse University in Bay St. Louis, MS) D. (website of manufacturer of lacrosse

36 Answer The correct answer is B. ·Option A and D both represent retail companies who sell sporting equipment. Their websites would be unlikely to have much information about the history of the sport. ·Option C is a link to a university. ·Option B is a link to an organization that oversees the development and rules of the sport, thus they would be more likely to have information about the history of the sport.

37 Assess the source Rank each of these websites from 1(low) to 4 (high) according to how reliable and accurate you think they would be: 1.The most recent U.S. Department of Labor statistics on unemployment 2.Twelfth-grader’s blog on the history of silent films 3.Wikipedia article about a controversial political issue 4.An editorial about Abraham Lincoln from the New York Times, January 1862

38 Sources Harris, Robert. “Evaluating Internet Sources.” Virtual Salt. June 15, 2007. January 12, 2010. Web. Lunsford, Andrea A. The Everyday Writer: Fourth Edition. Boston: Bedford- St. Martin’s Press, 2009. 170-171. Print

39 Paraphrase!!!

40 Plagiarism v. Paraphrasing Samples Direct quote from research: “Japan’s beautiful Mount Fuji last erupted in 1707 and is now classified as dormant. Dormant volcanoes show no signs of activity, but they may erupt in the future.” Non-plagiarized paraphrase: Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan, is actually a dormant volcano. Dormant means that it is not active. The last time Mount Fuji erupted was in 1707, and there is always the possibility of a future eruption.

41 Direct quote from research: “Three weeks after Katrina, warnings of the arrival of Hurricane Rita sent residents of cities such as Houston, Texas, rushing to evacuate, fearing for their lives. Fortunately, Hurricane Rita turned out to be much less severe than Katrina. However, mass evacuations like this bring hazards of their own, as panicking drivers may cause accidents on the jammed roads.” Non-plagiarized paraphrase: Shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of Houston, Texas, a warning for a new hurricane named Rita was broadcast, which caused many people to panic and flee the city. However, the mass departure of people leaving Houston at the same time could have caused many car accidents, even though the hurricane turned out to be not as dangerous as Katrina.

42 “How do I QUOTE an author?” ·If you quote an author, insert “quotation marks” around the text you are using. ·At the end of the quotation, parenthetical notations are needed. ·Simply write the quote and then put the author’s name and page number: ·(Williamson, 148) ·You will cite the entire source when you get to the bibliography page of your paper. “I WILL NOT PLAGIARIZE I WILL PUT MY PAPER INTO MY OWN WORDS.”

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