How well do you know the internet? Sit down if you haven’t….. Used a basic internet search engine for research Used a .com source for research Used a .govor.edu website for research Used any advanced search settings or limiters for internet research Many of us use the internet everyday, but do you know how to find things you can use for your research papers?
What are you going to learn? A) how to effectively evaluate websites for scholarly research using 7 basic criteria 1) Currency 2) Coverage 3) Accuracy 4) Authority 5) Objectivity/Bias 6) Domain 7) Design B) what to do if you are unsure about a source?
Currency & Coverage Currency is extremely important for your work to be accurate. Has the page been kept up-to-date. Are there clear dates when information was published & updates? Is the information current enough for your topic? Author’s credentials Scope-How in-depth is the information? Are there things left out or overlooked? Is the information serious in nature or is a spoof or parody of information? Sources are cited Links are functioning
Accuracy The information is fact based versus opinion Many blog web pages are operated by people with no credentials Spelling or grammar mistakes Does someone review or edit the content? Is it clearly listed? There should be bibliography (citations or links) to the sources of information. (Make sure to click on links to make sure they go somewhere). Does the facts or author check out? Take time to check them out. Further investigation should clear up questions
Authority What information does this web page offer that another does not? Original information (or primary source) is important. Otherwise the information could be used to support an opinion unfounded by supportive evidence. Be aware and find out if there is an outside sponsor of the site. Or if the sponsor is an organization or for-profit company Is there an “About” or Author’s Page? Is the author qualified to write on the topic? Are they an expert? What credentials do they have? There should be an easily found author that is attributed to writing the article
Domain A quick way to evaluate is by the domain. Generally, .gov, .edu, .mil, and some .org addresses are more reliable than .net and .com. International sites can be useful depending on topic. Be aware of other 6 criteria! Examples Advanced Search http://www.google.com/ www.malepregnancy.com www.martinlutherking.org www.thekingcenter.org
Objectivity/Bias Facts are important. Opinions are important information to include too if they are balanced and qualified with other information. Is this someone’s personal opinion or blog? Personal blog’s should be used with caution since many opinion based and not produced for academic use.http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/ Is the website or author trying to sell you a product or service? This can be a The web site’s stated curricular goals, objectives, and motives should match its content. If the content is based upon personal opinion, the author should make it known to the reader. The content contains a neutral or positive tone. Affiliations with other educational organizations/companies are stated.
Let’s try to evaluate Examples Mankato, Minnesota Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division In Defense of Smokers Huffington Post
Blurred Lines What should you do if you are not sure if the site is usable? Check!!!! Authors credentials to the information Author’s name, email/contact info, or address/phone number is provided The purpose of the information is clearly stated and whom it is for Author responds to queries about the content. Information is updated Talk to a librarian or ask your professor. Don’t just assume it can be used, find information to back it up
What did you learn? A) How to effectively evaluate websites for scholarly research using 7 basic criteria: 1) Currency 2) Coverage 3) Accuracy 4) Authority 5) Objectivity/Bias 6) Domain 7) Design B) What to do if you are unsure about a source?
Any Questions? If you leave here today and think of any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or 773-318-6101 You can also come find me at the reference desk Thank You!
Resources Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html ENG 102 Evaluation Criteriahttp://research.dom.edu/content.php?pid=39610&sid=292976 The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Source http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/evalcrit.html The 5 W’s http://kathyschrock.net/abceval/5ws.htm