Consider these concepts as you navigate information for your classes. This criteria can also be applied to print sources and media.
How reliable is the information?
Remember, almost anyone can publish on the web. As opposed to scholarly or academic sources in print or online, many web sites are not verified. There are no web standards to ensure accuracy. If there are no references or other sources cited it will be more difficult to establish accuracy.
What are the author’s qualifications for writing on this subject?
Is the author's expertise well established or transparent?
How reputable is the publisher or sponsoring organization?
It is often difficult to determine the authorship and qualifications. (Try Googling or checking Wikipedia for the name, organization)
Is there bias?
Are the goals or aims of the individual or group clearly stated or transparent?
Remember that many people consider the web as a place to state their opinions. Bias will often exist, but it helps to be clear about it before you use the information.
Is the content up-to-date?
Often dates are omitted or may mean the date that the information was originally written, the date it was placed on the web, or the date it was last revised.
What topics are covered and to what depth?
Coverage may differ from print resources.
Is there a corporate entity (i.e. company, government, organization, university) that supports this site?
Is there a link to the homepage of the organization?
Is there contact information such as an email link and a snail mail address?
How might this affiliation affect objectivity?
Can you idtentify what audience the material is intended for? Is it for students in elementary school? Middle school? High school? Is it for adults? Other experts or professionals?
How difficult is the material?
Is the language or data used complex and specific, or simplified?
STABILITY OF INFORMATION
It’s here today but will it be here tomorrow?
Can you cite it with some assurance that it will be found again?
PRIVILEGE / ACCESS
Were there limitations or gatekeepers as to who has access to the research or information or who is able to publish the work?
Think about if there is anyone else who might contribute a different perspective to the information. Seek out those voices might be missing, left-out, or not prioritized in the work.
Has the information been removed or extracted from an original source?
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if the information is accurate or reliable if it has been taken out of it's original context.
Domain name types and checking out the URL or the DOI for the page or site can provide some help. Some of the basics are:
Some additional information on verifying websites:
|PURPOSE / POINT OF VIEW||