Presented by Roy
NUS B.A (Merit)
NTU MSc (Info Studies)
Pros of Internet
Free of charge (NLB - 3 cents per minute)
24 / 7 available (unlike library closes at 9 pm)
Lots of information
Easy to use
Good for current info (news) & general info
“Good Enough” e.g. find food, maps, etc
WWW - World Wide Web
Cons of Internet (80/20 rule)
Reliability? Who does quality control?
Con-man (evaluate internet scams)
Not so good for Scholarly, Specialized info
(Good stuff is there but must dig deeper)
WWW - Wild, Wild West
Over-reliance on Net has students floundering in media literacy test
A CERTAIN species of octopus in the Pacific north-west lives in a tree.
Well, 34 out of 35 Singapore students who read the bogus website http://
zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/ believed such a creature actually exists.
The students, aged 13 to 19, were unable to distinguish fact from fiction in a Straits
Times test of media literacy among youth.
The spoof site, set up as an online hoax in 1998 but now used by institutions to test
Internet literacy, fooled nearly all the 35 local students into thinking the tree
octopus story was 'well-supported by scientific research' and 'factual'.
From Factiva Database
Criteria Questions to ask
Authority • Who published the material?
• Are the author’s and publisher’s qualification documented?
• Can they be contacted (via email or other method?)
• Where does the document originate – is it from an
educational institution, a government or a company?
• Is there a bibliography?
Accuracy • Are there any factual errors, or outdated facts?
• Is the information cited correctly?
• Are there any errors, inconsistencies or slip-ups in the
• Are there any language errors?
Importance of citation – language of academia
– international standard – common language
Currency • When was the information published?
• When was the material last updated?
• Were the links still current?
Objectivity • What is the purpose of the document – was it created
for commercial, educational or other reasons?
• How much of the content is opinion based?
• What are objectives of the author?
Coverage • If there are links, are they evaluated in any way (i.e.
short write-up) and are they complementary to the
information on the site?
• What is the balance between textual and graphical
• Is there any historical/geographical bias in the sources
used, and the treatment of the subject?
Should not be quoted in academic
research, DO NOT CITE IT!
But useful starting point to
How to score A? Story
Use a varied and wide range of reliable sources:
-Books (available at all libraries)
-Newspapers (Factiva, NewspaperSG)
-Historical Info (History Database Centre)
-Geographic Info (World Atlas)
-Journals (Ebsco, Proquest, JSTOR)
-Websites (credible sites)
e.g. The New York Times,
e.g. The Straits Times, Today, The Edge, Lianhe Zaobao, Shin Min
Full access only from the library
Has Straits Times from 1989 to present Day (at libraries only)
Limited access from home due to copyright (Factiva $$$)
Internet usage at libraries is 3 cents per minute ($1.80 per hour)
“ ”: to search for phrases, use quotation marks
Eg “dog ate my homework” – Decrease hits
AND: results will contain all the words or phrases
OR: results will contain one or more of the
words or phrases
NOT: results will not contain the word or phrase
after: Decrease hits
* Wildcard - Toilet*
AND – Decrease hits
Lee Kuan Yew AND Singapore
AND – Decrease hits
Lee Kuan Yew
Singapore is ranked 18th
in the World
Spends 4.9% of GDP on
Provides full-text for over 4,500 publications, including
full-text for more than 3,600 peer-reviewed journals in
subject areas such as biology, chemistry, engineering,
physics, religion, arts and sociology.
Risks of Casinos – good
for business, bad for
Some questions asked by users
When and why was chewing gum banned in
Singapore? Will I be arrested if I consume
• Why doesn't superglue stick to it's tube?
I am looking for newspaper articles on
MOE’s “Teach Less, Learn More.”
• What is does JK in the author’s name J
K Rowling stand for?