One of the most important concepts for you to understand about the world wide web and internet is that the content of information is not moderated. Scholarly bibliographies exist as well as work created by eighth grade classes. You will need to learn to evaluate resources in a similar fashion that you now unconsciously evaluate and use or do not use print resources based on past experiences.
Evaluating Internet Resources
- Who created this web site?
- Do they provide information on their background, experience, and credentials?
- Is the site maintained by a well-known or reputable organization (e.g. the American Psychological Association, American Cancer Society, etc)?
Objectivity and Reliability
- Are the facts that are known to you reliable?
- Is the coverage objective? If not, is the bias clearly stated?
- Is the site sponsored by a commercial organization? Is it trying to sell you something?
- Who is the intended audience? Is this site for scholarly purposes or just for fun?
- Are both sides of an issue or topic provided?
- What geographical area is covered?
- What time period is covered?
- Is this the original document or has it been edited or abridged in some way?
- Does the web site give a date when it was last updated?
- If so, has it been updated recently?
- Is some of the information clearly out of date?
- Are there many links that are broken and no longer connect to the resources listed? Broken links can be an indicator that a web site is not being updated regularly.
- sample search on google: "katherine dunham" (using quotation marks around her name made the system search for the two words as a single string)