Presentation on theme: "Evaluating Internet Sources"— Presentation transcript:
1 Evaluating Internet Sources A brief lesson on how to assess the quality and worth of an Internet sourceprepared by Tera McFarland
2 Anyone can print anything on the Internet Internet sources must be evaluated to assure their authenticity and relevance because Web sites and pages do not go through the intensive editing processes that traditional print and visual resources do.Therefore, YOU, the user, must learn to assess the validity of the sources you use in your research.Don’t be fooled into believing that just because it’s on the Internet, it’s true. In essence, don’t believe everything that you read!
3 Criteria for Evaluating Internet Sources AuthorityCurrencyAccuracyObjectivityUsabilityAppropriateness
4 AuthorityAuthority refers to the reliability and credibility of the source.What are the author’s qualifications?Is the author or source affiliated with a reputable organization?Is there a contact person listed?Is there evidence of quality control?
5 Examine the Domain One good way to assess the credibility of an authority or web site is to examine the URLedu = college or universitygov = government agency or organizationorg = non-profit organizationmil = military organizationcom = commercial organizationinfo = general information sitenet = network providerint = intergovernmental organization
6 Be wary ...A tilde ~ after the domain type usually indicates a personal web page and not an official part of that organization’s siteLook for personal data about the author or organizationLook for contact information, an address, webmaster, editor, etc.
7 Currency … or timeliness Very often, Internet sources offer a real advantage in that they are often even more current than traditional print sources.The information can be updated constantly.However, you must be aware that the dates on an Internet site have various meanings.
8 Examine the date...Date of information - usually indicates when the material was originally writtenDate of publication - usually indicates when the material first appeared on the WebDate of last revision or update - usually indicates the latest revisionAnd check the links to make sure that they are up-do-date!!!
9 AccuracyAccuracy refers to the reliability of the information.To examine the quality of the content on the site, ask the following questions:Is the information?Dependable?Error-free?Documented?Accurate?Comprehensive?Understandable??????
10 ObjectivityThis refers to purpose of the site, evidence of bias or prejudice, and facts vs. opinion.What is the purpose of the site? To persuade, inform, explain, sell, promote, or ridicule?Can you tell facts from opinions?Is there evidence of bias?Is only one side of an issue presented?Is any information purposely omitted?Is there a hidden message?
11 UsabilityUsability refers to user friendliness and how easily the site allows you to retrieve information. Consider the following criteria:User friendliness- Is it easy to find, read, and use the information?Organization- Is it logically and clearly arranged?Table of Contents or Index- Is it labeled clearly and is it complete?Design- Is it clean, clear, and uncluttered?Consistency- Are navigation buttons the same throughout?Links- Are they clear, accurate, workable, valuable?
12 Appropriateness Advocacy Webpages Business/Marketing Webpages Various types of webpages exist. Examine the purpose of the site to help you to determine the appropriateness for use in your research. Five types are listed below.(from Jan Alexander and Marsha Ann Tate of Widenour University)Advocacy WebpagesBusiness/Marketing WebpagesInformational WebpagesNews WebpagesPersonal Webpages
13 Remember that the Internet is not the only source of information. Finally...Remember that the Internet is not the only source of information.It is very useful for some topics and almost useless for others.Use a variety of sources, both Internet and traditional sourcesAlways question the validity of the information that you find.Remember the important evaluation criteria to consider.
14 Remember the Criteria for Evaluation AuthorityCurrencyAccuracyObjectivityUsabilityAppropriateness
15 And you’ll be a...Happier,Smarter,More SuccessfulResearcher!!
16 CreditsO’Neill, Ann B. “Trash or Treasure? How to Evaluate Internet Resources.” 16 Nov Apr <Special thanks to the students and instructors in Mansfield University’s School Library and Information Technology program