We will use Jadaliyya, one of my favorites, for this exercise. Three other sites are included in your package of which you are to choose two for analysis. If your evaluation is overall negative, please explain fully and provide rationale for why it may be so. For extra credit, you may add a third blog of your own choosing. PG rated only!
We will begin by clicking the “Home” link. Often a search will direct you to a site other than “Home.”Next, click on the About” link to evaluate/determine accuracy. Next, scan down to Page/section editors, where we see the name Bassam Haddad as main editor.Clicking on his name takes us to his home page, which includes his Bio and other interesting information that completes the accuracy picture.
Can we immediately identify the publisher? No, not immediately. We know the bio info of the main editor, and we may assume the editor and publisher are the same. But verification will require extra inquiry.
Objectivity is perhaps a bit squishy here. The main editor is clearly of Middle East origin, but that in itself doesn’t make him less than objective. Returning to the “About “ page, we see at the top: Jadaliyya is an independent ezine produced by ASI (Arab Studies Institute), the umbrella organization that produces Arab Studies Journal, Tadween Publishing, FAMA, and Quilting Point.Jadaliyya provides a unique source of insight and critical analysis that combines local knowledge, scholarship, and advocacy with an eye to audiences in the United States, the Middle East and beyond. The site currently publishes posts both in Arabic, French, English, and Turkish.
The blog is updated daily. The most recent update is today’s date (although the article is in Arabic, it takes a day to get a good translation out). No dead links that I can find
I struggle with the balance between images and text on my own blog. Jadaliyya gets strong marks in this area.
evaluating blogs and web documents
Distinguishing the good from the bad
After this session, you will be able to:
Evaluate the accuracy of blogs and web documents
Identify the authority of blogs and web documents
Appraise the objectivity of blogs and web documents
Assess the currency of blogs and web documents
Estimate the coverage of blogs and web documents
Material for this training session comes from the following sources:
“Evaluating Web Content,” User Education – Promoting Information
Literacy, University Libraries SUNY, Albany
“Five Criteria for evaluating Web pages,” Olin and Uris
Libraries, Cornell University, Ask a Librarian
From Kapoun, Jim. “Teaching undergrads WEB evaluation: a
guide for library instruction.” C&RL News (July/August 1998):
Step by step, we will consider five evaluative criteria:
accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, and coverage
But we will not go over these concepts in a vacuum.
We will examine each on a website example that you will
have at your desktop and on your handout.
Please take notes on how we look at the concepts and the
examples because you will have an opportunity to do an
Who is the author of the page?
Can you contact him/her?
What is the blog’s purpose?
Is the purpose clearly stated?
Is the blogger qualified to write the blog?
Can you identify the publisher of the blog?
Is she separate from the webmaster?
Does an institution publish the blog?
Can you determine the institution from the domain?
Can we ascertain the publisher’s
Are there links and are those links evaluated? Do the
links complement themes in the document?
Does the site have a balance between images and text?
Is presented information cited correctly?
Lab and homework assignment
We will walk through an evaluation of the first website.
Your homework assignment is to pick two additional
blogs from among the four provided and evaluate using
the criteria we have discussed.
For extra credit, you may evaluate all three of the
provided sites, or you may evaluate one of your own