Do you believe everything you find on the internet
Do you believe everything you find on the internet?<br />Evaluating websites<br />
Why does it matter?<br /> The Internet is an uncontrolled environment, anyone can post any information to it for any purpose and at any time. <br /> It is therefore useful to bear in mind the following questions to help you evaluate websites and make sure that the information you use is of good quality.<br /><ul><li>Who is the information provider?
Are they a reliable source of this information?
When was it last updated?</li></li></ul><li>Accuracy<br />Is the information reliable and error free?<br />Is there an editor or someone who verifies/checks the information?<br />Are the sources for any factual information clearly listed so they can be verified in another source?<br />What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced?<br />Is the information in the resource accurate?<br />Does it look professional?<br />
Authority<br />Who is the author or producer/publisher? Is the page signed?<br />Can the author be contacted for clarification or be informed of new information?<br />Is the author qualified or an expert in the field? What credentials are listed for the author(s)?<br />Is the site sponsored? If so, by whom? Check the URL (e.g. http://www.fbi.gov) or domain e.g. .edu, .com, .ac.uk, .org, .net.<br />Is there a way of verifying the legitimacy of the page/site's sponsor? - e.g. phone number or postal address?<br />
Coverage<br />Is it all images or a balance of text and images?<br />Is the information presented cited correctly?<br />If page requires special software to view the information, how much are you missing if you don't have the software?<br />Is it free or is there a fee to obtain the information?<br />
Currency<br />Is the page up to date? When was it produced?<br />If so, when was it last updated? How frequently is it updated?<br />How current are the links? Are they updated regularly? Have some expired or moved?<br />How many dead links are on the page?<br />Is the information on the page outdated?<br />
Bias<br />One important aspect of evaluating the reliability of any content, is evidence of bias within the document. <br />What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author?<br />Determine if page is a mask for advertising; if so information might be biased.<br />View any Web page as you would an infomercial on television. Ask yourself: why was this written and for whom?<br />
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