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Evaluating Internet Resources: Morgan Library Research Guides

Definition

evaluate

 
[ih-val-yoo-eyt] 
 
 
2,  to judge or determine the 
significance, worth, or quality 
of; assess:

evaluate. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 11, 2017 from Dictionary.com  http://www.dictionary.com/browse/evaluate

Why?

WHY SHOULD I EVALUATE MY RESOURCES?

Most printed resources (books, journal articles, etc.) have already gone through a process of evaluation by editors, publishers, peers (other researchers), and librarians before they are available for use in the library. The Internet has opened up the publishing world to virtually everyone both to publish and to access. Before using the information found on a web site, it is important to evaluate the credibility of the information source. 

Criteria

Purpose - What is the Purpose of the Resource?

Web Sites serve a variety of purposes:

               Entertainment           Information           Instruction           Business         Personal Opinion

               Sometimes the internet address, specifically the domain, can provide information on the site’s purpose: 

.org               Organization

.com             Business or commercial site

.net               Network organization or an Internet service provider

.edu              Higher education institution

.gov              Federal government site

.in.us            State government site, this may include public schools & public libraries

.uk                 United Kingdom   \            A site originating in another

.au                 Australia               /           country as indicated by the 2 letter code

~                    The tilde often indicates a personal page.      

Timeliness – How up to date is the Information?

  • Is there a date on the website?
  • Has it been updated since it was first published?
  • How important is to use the latest information for your topic?

Authority – Who is the Author?

  • Is the author's name available? Does the author have an affiliation with an organization or institution?
  • Is the author an authority on the topic?  Are the author’s credentials provided?
  • Has the author provided contact information?   mailing address,  telephone number,  e-mail address?

Accuracy/Bias – Is the Information accurate and objective?

  • There are no standards or controls on the accuracy of information available via the Internet. Anyone can express their opinions and thoughts along with disseminating scholarly research.
  • Is factual information or statistics cited? Is there a bibliography included?
  • Compare the content to other resources, electronic or print, for assistance in determining accuracy.   If the information on the website contradicts all other resources, it is probably inaccurate.
  • Does the website propose a particular point of view or bias? 
  • Is the site objective? Are both sides of an issue provided?
  • Does the page contain advertising? This may impact the content of the information included.  Examine whether there’s a relationship between the advertising and the information provided.  Is the advertisement simply providing financial support for the page?  

Librarian

Rhoda Palmer's picture
Rhoda Palmer
Contact:
574-372-5100 x6293

Librarian

Tonya Fawcett's picture
Tonya Fawcett
Contact:
Morgan Library, Room 204
574.372.5100 x6291