Information Literacy

5. Evaluate Websites

  1. Today, the Internet is another place to search for information on a research topic.

  2. It should not be the first place you go.

  3. It can be very useful, if used wisely.

  4. Be sparing in using what you find for a paper.


 

 

 

A major challenge with searching for information on the Internet in determining what is useful and what is not.

Not all web sites are truthful or reliable. Anyone can put together a legitimate looking site. Web pages are unregulated and unmonitored.

 

 

Don't be so ready to "cut and paste" what you find into your research paper.

Think about what you have found.


Keep in mind the following criteria when faced with the challenge to accept or reject information:

 

  • Accurancy

  • Audience

  • Authorship

  • Content

  • Date of Publication

  • Fairness



To answer the challenge of what Internet information found is useful and what is not, ask yourself a series of questions.

  • What can the URL tell you? Is it a Commercial, Organization, Education, Government site?

  • Who wrote the page? Is the person authorizing institution a qualified authority?

  • When was the webpage written? Current, timely? Is it out of date? Are there "dead links" on the page?

  • Does the page have fairness and reliability as a source?

  • Is someone just trying to give their point of view? What's the bias?

  • Could the page be a spoof?

  • Are there links to other reliable websites listed?


Look at these web sites to learn more about evaluating web sites: