Evaluating Web Sites


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from June 2002 class for Capacity Building for Health Promotion workshop - MN Dept of Health

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Evaluating Web Sites

  1. 1. Evaluating the Internet Melissa Rethlefsen, MDH Library 6 th Annual Capacity Building Conference College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN June 13 th , 2002
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Basics of Website Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Searching Google and Finding Great Results </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluating Health Websites: the JAMA Benchmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-on Practice – Searching </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-on Practice – Evaluating </li></ul>
  3. 3. Evaluating Basics <ul><li>Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracy and Coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Currency </li></ul>
  4. 4. What Is Authority? <ul><li>Who is the author? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the author objective or biased? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the author have a stake in the </li></ul><ul><li>information? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of website is it? Commercial? </li></ul><ul><li>Educational? Governmental? </li></ul>
  5. 5. How Can I Determine Accuracy and Coverage? <ul><li>Who is the intended audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there links to other websites? </li></ul><ul><li>Are references given for source material (a </li></ul><ul><li>bibliography)? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the sources for the information given? What </li></ul><ul><li>methods did those sources use to obtain the information? </li></ul><ul><li>How much information is given? </li></ul><ul><li>How well does the website’s information mesh with </li></ul><ul><li>other sources? </li></ul>
  6. 6. How Can I Determine Currency? <ul><li>Is there a creation date on the website? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there information about updates to the website? </li></ul><ul><li>Are links active or broken? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there more recent information elsewhere? </li></ul>
  7. 7. The JAMA Benchmarks <ul><li>Authorship : proper identification of authors and </li></ul><ul><li>contributors </li></ul><ul><li>Attribution for all sources of information </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosures of site ownership, financing, advertising, and </li></ul><ul><li>conflicts of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Curr ency : indication of the dates content is posted and </li></ul><ul><li>updated </li></ul>
  8. 8. Search #1 Professional information on preventing tuberculosis
  9. 9. Search #2 Consumer-oriented information on treating Crohn’s Disease
  10. 10. Search #3 Spanish-language, consumer-oriented educational materials on Pap tests