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Evaluate sources and web information

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Using and evaluating information from the Internet

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Evaluate sources and web information

  1. 1. These days there is so much informationonline. Is it useful though? It depends on how much time you have to sift through the results! 
  2. 2. What is “fake news” and is there much onthe Internet? How to decide what is reliable?
  3. 3. (Reference to the US election campaign: 2016) NB: This news report is considered to quote a substantially underestimated volume of fake news on social media (Batchelor, O 2017, ‘Getting out the truth’, Reference Services Review, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 143-148.
  4. 4. HOW TO CHECK? IS IT A FAKE NEWS STORY? https://theconversation.com/au/factcheck An Australian, independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community. RMIT ABC Fact Check Reports on the accuracy of claims made by people engaged in the public debate, including politicians, advocacy groups and public figures. Snopes.com This website determines the accuracy of international stories in popular culture including urban legends and internet and emailhoaxes. Wikipedia list of fake news websites A comprehensive list of fact checking websites Source: International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/11174
  5. 5. With misinformation becoming common … … how to find reliable academic information? The Internet still has useful information. Right?
  6. 6. Right! You just have to know what you’re lookingat 1. Who wrote it? 2. Can you find which organization is connected to the information? 3. Is it current? 4. Is it biased or balanced in viewpoint? Start with a quick evaluation ofthe URL – or Domainname
  7. 7. Domain Names What does this website URL tell you? (very useful for a quick scan of a resultslist) http://www.usc.edu.au http://www.usc.edu.au http://www.usc.edu.au http://www.usc.edu.au Name of the organization Type of organization Country of website Major types of organizations on the Internet (part of the URL): .com OR .co .org .edu OR .ac .gov commercial (usually trying to sell you something) organization (useful if you recognize the name) education (generally reliable information, backed by the university or academic institution) government (generally reliable information, though not all governments in the world always support the same information)
  8. 8. Domain Names Example: You are researching Australian conservation issues What can you tell about the reliability of the conservation information likely in these websites just from their URL? http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/world-heritage-list http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/630 https://www.acf.org.au/ http://conservationvolunteers.com.au/green-army/ http://www.adelaide.edu.au/environment/ Which would you look at first?
  9. 9. Domain Names Example: What can you tell about the reliability of the conservation information likely in these websites just from their URL? http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/world-heritage-list (Australian government information about World Heritage Listings) http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/630 (UNESCO site about the Fraser Island World Heritage Listing. This is a known and reputable .org site) https://www.acf.org.au/ (Australian Conservation Foundation information, but the abbreviation of the name of the organization is likely to be less familiar than that of UNESCO for a .org site) http://conservationvolunteers.com.au/green-army/ (Conservation volunteers Australia – asking for volunteers, donations etc., so unlikely to be a first choice) http://www.adelaide.edu.au/environment/ (University of Adelaide Environment Institute – Higher Education research information)
  10. 10. Now you have made a good start! Critically evaluate all web information for use in academic research (and life!) Evaluating websites https://youtu.be/aem3JahbXfk 1:56 mins. Produced by Gulf Coast State College (US) Library (C.R.A.A.P. evaluation technique)

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