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PCC Website Class 2012
Mr. Moegelin

 

Last updated on:  

 

Evaluating Web Sites Page 2

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Citing Internet Resources:

  Citing Internet Resources:  Ohio State University

  Citing Electronic Resources:  Purdue University


From Susan Beck New Mexico State University

 

Criteria

Rationale

How Can I Tell?

 Authority

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 Is the page signed?
 Are the author's qualifications
    available?
 Does s/he have expertise in this
    subject?
 Is the author associated with an
    educational institution or other
    reputable organization?
 Does the publisher or publication
    have a reputation for reliability?
√  Is contact information for the
    author or group available on the
    site?

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  It's often hard to determine a web page's authorship.  

  Unlike traditional print resources, Web resources rarely have editors or fact-checkers.  

  There are no standards for information on the web which would ensure that all information there is accurate and useful.  

  People create web pages for different reasons:  

 

 

    Personal  
Advocacy
        Commercial/Marketing  
        Informational  

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  • Look at the top and bottom of the web page for clues.

  • Use the WhoIs service to determine the page's owner.

  • Is there a link to a main web site for the group/educational institution/ organization hosting this web page?

  • Look at the first part of the URL for the web page. Is it .org? .edu? .gov? .net? .com?

  • Does the author or host have a web page explaining who they are and what their mission or philosophy is?

  • Ask a Reference Librarian if information about the publisher is available

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 Coverage

Is the information even relevant
   to your topic?
Do you think it is useful to you?
Does this page have information
   that is not found elsewhere?
How in-depth is the material?
  • Web coverage often differs from print coverage.
  • Frequently it's difficult to determine the extent of coverage.
  • Sometimes web information is just-for-fun or outright silliness.
  • Read through/scan the web page and consider.
  • Ask a Reference Librarian if the information you have found can be verified elsewhere.
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Objectivity

 Does the information show a
    minimum of bias?
√  Is the page a presentation of facts
    and not designed to sway opinion?
Is the page free of advertisements
   or sponsored links?

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  • Frequently the goals of the sponsors/authors aren't clearly stated.

  • Often the web serve as a virtual "Hyde Park Corner," a soapbox.

  • The content of the page may be influenced by the advertiser.

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  • Read through/scan the web page and consider.
  • Does the author or host have a web page explaining who they are and what their mission or philosophy is?
  • See what other websites link to the site in question. Google's link searches is one method.
  • Ask a Reference Librarian if information about the author/ company/ organization is available.
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Accuracy

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Is the information reliable and
   error-free?
Can you find when was the last
   update?
Is there an editor or someone
   who verifies/checks the
   information?
Is the page free of spelling
   mistakes or other obvious
   problems?
  • Anyone can publish anything on the Web.

  • Unlike traditional print resources, Web resources rarely have editors or fact-checkers.

  • Currently, no Web standards exist to ensure accuracy.

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  • Read through/scan the Web page and consider.
  • Ask a Reference Librarian if the information you have found can be verified elsewhere.
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Currency

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Is the page dated?
Can you find when was the last
   update?
Are the links current and do they
   point to existing pages?

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  • Publication or revision dates are not always provided.
  • Pages with broken links may not be updated regularly.
  • If a date is provided, it may have various meanings. For example it may indicate when the material:
    • was first written
    • was first placed on the Web
    • was last updated

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  Read through and scan the text to see if the author attributes information/facts to a particular year. e.g. "in 1997, 35 car accidents were caused by chickens crossing the road."  

  Scan through the bibliography or list of references (be concerned if there isn't one!) and see how current each item is. e.g. Cool, Joe. (1975) "Current flying practices." Canine Aviation 32(3):23-40.  

  Look at the footer to see if the author has included a date.  
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  PCC Web Site Course 2013

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