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Because of the hodge-podge of information on the Internet, it is very important you develop evaluation skills to assist you in identifying quality Web pages.There are six (6) criteria that should be applied when evaluating any Web site: authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, coverage, and appearance.
Learn About: Criteria used to evaluate print and Internet information resources, differences between print and Internet resources, characteristics of scholarly vs.
popular periodicals, and the scholarly publication cycle.
Print and Internet sources vary widely in their authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and coverage.
Users must be able to critically evaluate the appropriateness of all types of information sources prior to relying on the information.
For each criterion, there are several questions to be asked.
The more questions you can answer "yes", the more likely the Web site is one of quality. The web is awash in, among many things, both real information and utter nonsense. Check its Left/Center/Right rating here at All Sides. Is it clear who is responsible for the contents of the page?Is the target audience identified and appropriate for your needs?a) Is it clear who is responsible for the contents of the page? - It is critical to relate the ideas you find at a site to a particular author, organization, or business.You might want to remember AAOCC (Authority, Accuracy, Objectivity, Currency, and Coverage), if for no other reason than you might be asked to list these criteria and describe them briefly.The same basic questions should be asked of all information sources: books, journal articles, web pages, blogs, videos, sound recordings and e-books.In this way, there is a degree of accountability for any of the ideas expressed.Once the individual or organization responsible for the content is known, you can then begin to look at other clues to help you ascertain credibilities, such as credentials and reputation.For lists of news sources ranging from left to right to satire, check out Media Bias/Fact Check. Is there a way of verifying the legitimacy of the organization, group, company or individual?A checklist on how to identify fake news in ten questions (pdf). Is there any indication of the author's qualifications for writing on a particular topic?Do not assume that information on the web is more current or accurate. It is the user's responsibility to evaluate information sources, in print and on the web, that they find during the research process before using it in a paper or presentation.For this brief introduction to evaluating sources in LS101, we will use a list of five critical criteria.