Evaluating Web Sites: How to Tell if Information Is Good?
The best way to access reliable resources is to use online databases like the ones available to you on the s ite above.
But, if you use the internet, how do you tell good resources from bad resources?
There is so much information on the internet, it can be overwhelming. Using Google to search and using the first things that come up is not the best way to get information because the best information isn't necessarily the first information. Use the guidelines below to help you to evaluate the information that you find when you research.
CURRENCY: The best information is the most recent. How recent are the dates listed on the web site? Are there dates on the page to indicate when the page was written or last revised? Are there any indications that the information is kept current or updated?
Relevance: The best information relates directly to your topic. Does this page cover information applicable to your topic? Does this page cover the information in-depth, adequately? If there is a print (e.g., magazine, newspaper, book) equivalent to the Web page, is it clear whether the entire work, or only parts of it are available on the Web site?
AUTHORITY: The best information is written by experts. Is it clear who wrote the information? Are the author's qualifications for writing on this topic clearly stated? Is there a link to a page (or area on it) describing the purpose of the sponsoring/publishing organization? Is there a phone number or postal address to contact for more information? (email address not enough).
ACCURACY: The best information is correct and can be found in several sources. Are the sources for any factual information clearly listed so they can be verified in another source? Is the information free of grammatical, spelling, and other typographical errors? Is the information accurate, when compared to other sources?
Purpose: The best information is not biased. Is there a link to a page (or area on it) describing the purpose of the sponsoring/publishing organization? Is there a phone number or postal address to contact for more information? (email address not enough). Is the information reasonably unbiased? Is the information free of advertising? If there is any advertising on the pages, is it clearly set off from the informational content?
Remember: If you know your research CRAAP, no one can ever fool you again!
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