Assessing Web Reliability

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  • Personal pages are not necessarily "bad," but you need to investigate the author carefully. For personal pages, there is no publisher or domain owner vouching for the information in the page.Is the server a commercial ISPor other provider of web page hosting (like aol.com or geocities.com)
  • Have you heard of this entity before?Does it correspond to the name of the site?You can rely more on information that is published by the source:Look for New York Times news from www.nytimes.comLook for health information from any of the agencies of the National Institute of Health on sites with nih somewhere in the domain name.TALK ABOUT URL MAKE UP…
  • This is not always reliable…domains of any kind can be purchased
  • Web pages are created with a purpose in mind by some person or agency or entity. You are looking for someone who claims accountability and responsibility for the content. An e-mail address with no additional information about the author is not sufficient for assessing the author's credentials. If this is all you have, try emailing the author and asking politely for more information about him/her. s it "stale" or "dusty" information on a time-sensitive or evolving topic? CAUTION: Undated factual or statistical information is no better than anonymous information. Don't use it without confirmation.
  • In scholarly/research work, the credibility of most writings is proven through footnote documentationWhere did the author get the information? If there are links to other pages as sources, are they to reliable sources?Do the links work?Links that don't work, or that lead to other weak or fringe pages, do not help strengthen the credibility of your research.
  • Assessing Web Reliability

    1. 1. Don’t believe everything you Read…<br />Evaluating internet resources<br />
    2. 2. What can the URL tell you? <br />Is it somebody's personal page?<br />Read the URL carefully: <br />Look for a personal name<br />following a tilde (~)<br />percent sign ( % )<br />the words "users," "members," or "people.”<br />Example http://share.umasd.org/~khokanson<br />
    3. 3. Who PUBLISHES the site<br />Does the publisher of the site make sense?<br />The server is usually named in first portion of the URL (between http:// and the first /)<br />Example: http://umasd.org/<br />
    4. 4. Domain Reliability<br />Extensions can possibly indicate reliability<br />Does it have an appropriate domain extension? <br />a .edu extension indicates a college or university<br />a .org extension indicates an organization<br />a .gov extension indicates a governmental entity<br />a .com indicates a commercial enterprise<br />
    5. 5. Techniques for Web Evaluation<br />Scan the page perimeter & look for:<br />About us, Philosophy, Background, Biography<br />Truncate back page for more about the author<br />Is there contact information / email?<br />Look for the date "last updated" (BOTTOM)<br />Check the date on all the pages on the site.<br />What are the author's credentials on this subject? <br />
    6. 6. Is this quality information?<br />Are sources documented (footnotes or links)<br /> Are there links to other resources on the topic?<br />Are the links well chosen?<br />Do the links work?<br />Do the links represent other viewpoints?<br />Do the links indicate a bias? <br />
    7. 7. Why was the page put on the web?<br />Inform, give facts, give data?<br />Explain, persuade?<br />Sell, entice?<br />Share?<br />Disclose?<br />
    8. 8. Try it out…<br />Visit this list of websites to evaluate:<br />http://www.diigo.com/list/khokanson/web_evaluation<br />Fill out this web evaluation form for one of the sites listed<br />http://snipurl.com/web-eval<br />

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