Web Site Evaluation, Cultural Research

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Web Site Evaluation, Cultural Research

  1. 1. Cultural Research on the Internet What Web sites do you trust?
  2. 2. What Are We Looking For? • Credibility • Accuracy • Bias/Objectivity • Timeliness • Relevance
  3. 3. Credibility Do you trust the source – Are they qualified? – Can they be trusted? – Will they stand behind the information?O’Halloran, Thomas. Walter Cronkite on Television, 1976.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Walter_Cronkite_on_television_1976.jpg, Creative Commons License.
  4. 4. CredibilityFind out the person or organization that is responsiblefor the information. In this case – learn more about theUS Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  5. 5. CredibilityLook for a Home page or “About Us” option. (Usually attop or bottom of the page.)
  6. 6. CredibilityLearn about the purpose of the organization and theweb site. Make a decision – do you trust them, and arethey qualified to provide the information that you’reseeking? (Yes – this site would be a trusted source ofinformation on Quinceanera.)
  7. 7. Credibility This is from a blog. Who is the writer (or writers), what are their qualifications, and can you trust them. In this case, no information can be found about the owner of the Peppermint Paper blog. It is not considered a credible source.
  8. 8. Credibility Check the history of the article to see who wrote it…What about thisWikipedia article?…
  9. 9. Credibility Recent contributors include Snowolf and FordPrefect42! How would that look in your Works Cited list?Purplegothicqueen. "Arctic Wolf". http://www.flickr.com/photos/purplegothicqueen/5273329499/sizes/z/in/photostream/ (Creative commons)
  10. 10. Credibility Go directly to the source of the information! But don’t forget to evaluate the quality of that source, too!
  11. 11. Credibility What type of web site is it?. This is from the Library of Congress. Government agencies are considered a credible source.
  12. 12. CredibilityAddress Example What is it? Credible?includes:.com or .net www.cnn.com Commercial or Depends on the web www.angelfire.com/~joespage personal web site . Learn about sites. the person/group responsible.gov www.epa.gov Government Yes www.loc.gov Agencies.edu www.psu.edu Educational Yes (usually) www.si.edu Institutions Beware of student web sites..org www.americanheart.org Organizations Learn about the www.wikipedia.org organization, first. www.martinlutherking.org Anybody can get a “.org” address. What does the web site’s address tell you?
  13. 13. CredibilityUse Google’s advanced searchto find specific types of websites. (.org, .gov)
  14. 14. Credibility In this example, you will only have government web sites in your search results list.
  15. 15. Credibility – What do you think? http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/weddings/weddings.html
  16. 16. Credibility – What do you think?What we know…•Address is: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/weddings/weddings.html•Who (person or organization) runs the web site? •Found this at bottom right: •Could not find out who Russ Haggerty was.
  17. 17. Credibility – What do you think?http://dublin.usembassy.gov/service/other-citizen-services/other-citizen-services/marriage-in-ireland.html
  18. 18. Credibility – What do you think?What we know…•Address is:http://dublin.usembassy.gov/service/other-citizen-services/other-citizen-services/marriage-in-ireland.html•Who (person or organization) runs the web site? •US Embassy•Is the US Embassy a credible source?
  19. 19. CredibilityYou might need to dig for your information:• Look for an About Us option.• Go to the web page’s home page.• Try modifying the address: – If this is your web address: http://zapatopi.net/kelvin/kelvinmas/ – Take off the last “folder” or file so that it looks like this: http://zapatopi.net/kelvin/ – Repeat until you find information about originator! (http://zapatopi.net)• Search the Internet for information about the person or organization.
  20. 20. CredibilityCreative commons license: “ Steiner, Peter. “On the internet, nobody knows you’rea dog.” (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f8/Internet_dog.jpg)
  21. 21. AccuracyWarning signs of doubtful accuracy:• Do they provide references?• Is the information consistent with other sources?• Shocking (unbelievable) information?• Professional appearance?
  22. 22. Accuracy Some web sites provide false information as entertainment.
  23. 23. AccuracySome are Hoax web sites. They’re trying tofool you! (Maybe just for fun) http://www.fvza.org/index.html
  24. 24. Accuracy Professional appearance: •Easy or hard to read •Subtle use of color & graphics •Personal web pages •Advertisementshttp://www.angelfire.com/mac/jelly/custom/trad.html
  25. 25. Bias/Objectivity• Are all viewpoints covered?• Fact or opinion?• Purpose? To… – Entertain – Persuade or sell – Inform• Is it emotionally charged?
  26. 26. Bias / Objectivity Two web sites with different opinions on an issue. •Both will probably give true information. •Both will provide opinions. •Both will promote facts that support their view, and downplay or not include facts that argue against their view.http://www.protectmarriage.com/why-marriage-matters and http://www.marriageequality.org/
  27. 27. Bias / ObjectivityTwo web sites about tattoos – one is a York Tattoo Parlor, one is aCDC “fact sheet”.What is the purpose of the tattoo parlor web page?What is the purpose of the CDC web page?Who is more likely to be biased?
  28. 28. Timeliness• How old is the information?• Can you tell how old it is?• Could it be out-of date?
  29. 29. Timeliness If changing information is important, then the date of your web site is important, too!http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5347.html
  30. 30. Timeliness If the information most likely has not changed recently, then the date published/written is less important.http://www.arthistory.upenn.edu//zoser/zoser.html
  31. 31. Timeliness Timeliness is important when the information changes rapidly. (The more rapid change – the more important timeliness is!)• Technology• Science• Medicine• News events
  32. 32. Timeliness – What do you think? Would you rush out to buy this ultrafast laptop? http://www.reviewsonline.com/articles/890244000.HTM
  33. 33. Timeliness – What do you think? You’ve been craving some old- fashioned apple pie – but this recipe is over 15 years old! (Is that a problem?)
  34. 34. Relevance• Audience – who is the web site intended for?• Is it too detailed or too vague?• Coverage – does it cover the correct time period or geographic area?• Does it make sense to use this web page?
  35. 35. Relevance For a college project about Botswana – would the Yahoo!Kids page or the CIA Factbook page be more relevant for your research? If your child in the 4th grade were doing the research, which would be more relevant?http://kids.yahoo.com/reference/world-factbook/country/bc--Botswana and https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bc.html
  36. 36. RelevanceWhich is a more relevant source for information on the Bar Mitzvahtradition? The Bar Mitzvah/Bat Mitzvah page at Judaism 101, orLarry’s Flickr photostream of his Bar Mitzvah?http://www.jewfaq.org/barmitz.htm andhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/maidelba/477727941/
  37. 37. What Are We Looking For? • Credibility • Accuracy • Bias/Objectivity • Timeliness • Relevance

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