Evaluating Web Sources For Research

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Evaluating Web Sources For Research

  1. 1. Evaluating Web Sources for Research Instruction for beginning MBA students By Mahrya Carncross, Librarian Candidate, City University of Seattle Library
  2. 2. Information Literacy: Skills for Research Success Association of College and Research Libraries (2003). Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education. Retrieved February 23, 2009 at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm .
  3. 3. Why Evaluate? <ul><li>Make sense of excessive amounts of information found online </li></ul><ul><li>Web content is not monitored or universally checked for accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>Web content is published with many intentions </li></ul><ul><li>Develop your critical thinking skills </li></ul>
  4. 4. Evaluation Criteria <ul><li>The following criteria can be used to judge a resource’s effectiveness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Currency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectivity </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Authority <ul><li>Questions: </li></ul><ul><li>Who created the source? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the author qualified? </li></ul><ul><li>What else does the publisher put out? </li></ul><ul><li>Is additional information about creators readily available? </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation Techniques: </li></ul><ul><li>Look for biographical and publishing information at the source. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine banner, “about us” and URL. </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct a web search for the author and/or publisher. </li></ul><ul><li>Search library sources for publishing history. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Accuracy <ul><li>Questions: </li></ul><ul><li>Is the information verifiable? </li></ul><ul><li>Are claims believable? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you find any errors? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the author cite sources? </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation Techniques: </li></ul><ul><li>Consult additional sources to verify claims. </li></ul><ul><li>Check bibliography, references and links. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask an expert. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Content <ul><li>Questions: </li></ul><ul><li>Does the site contain complete information? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it provide you with new knowledge? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the source relevant to your topic? </li></ul><ul><li>What does the site seem to be missing? </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation Techniques: </li></ul><ul><li>Use the 5 W’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for information that is new and useful. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider your topic’s boundaries. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Currency <ul><li>Questions: </li></ul><ul><li>Is the information timely? </li></ul><ul><li>When was the source last updated? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it regularly updated? </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation Techniques: </li></ul><ul><li>Check citations. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for date of last update on web pages. </li></ul><ul><li>Check back frequently for updates. </li></ul>
  9. 11. Objectivity <ul><li>Questions: </li></ul><ul><li>Why did the author publish the source? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the article reflect a particular agenda? </li></ul><ul><li>Are persuasive claims backed by evidence? </li></ul><ul><li>Are tone and language appropriate for topic? </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation Techniques: </li></ul><ul><li>Determine purpose of the work. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for slant or bias. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine links, references and ads. </li></ul>
  10. 13. Does it Add Up? <ul><li>What is your overall impression of the source? </li></ul><ul><li>Will it fill a gap in your research knowledge? </li></ul>
  11. 14. Some Examples <ul><li>Responsible Shopper Profile </li></ul><ul><li>Standard & Poor's Industry Profile </li></ul><ul><li>Stanford University's Entrepreneurship Corner </li></ul>
  12. 15. The Library is Here to Help! Library > Resources by Program > Management
  13. 16. Library > Resources by Program > Management >How Do I?
  14. 17. Thank you!

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