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Evaluating Information  

Last Updated: Aug 8, 2013 URL: http://libguides.callutheran.edu/evaluatingsources Print Guide RSS Updates

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Evaluating

When considering information for your assignments, papers or any important aspect of your life, you want to make sure that it is good information. 

  • Which to use First
    Decide when to use the Free Web (i.e., Google, Wikipedia) or Library Online Resources?
 

More Questions to Ask...

  • WHO is responsible for the site?
    • Is there an author? What are his/her credentials? Is the "author" an individual, organization or association
  • WHAT type of site is it?
    • .edu = educational institution
    • .org = organization
    • .gov = government
    • .net = network/utilities or...
    • .mil = military
    • .com = commerical
  • WHEN was the site created or updated?
    • An automated date does not indicate when the information was updated
  • WHERE can you find more information?
    • Is there contact information other than email addresses?
    • Is there documentation for factual statements, assertions and second-hand information?
    • Are there links to other viewpoints, if applicable?
  • WHY was the site created?
    • Is the goal to sell? To persuade? To advocate an agenda? To inform? Why are advertisements (if any) there? Do they relate to the site?
 

Ask Yourself...

Many websites contain reliable information, but anyone can publish a website, so be especially cautious and critical when using Internet information.

CURRENCY

  • Is there a copyright date?
  • When was the site last updated?

AUTHORITY

  • Who is authoring the information?
  • Is it clear who sponsors the site and what the sponsor’s purpose is?
  • Is this a recognized organization or individual?
  • Is there information on how to contact them?
  • Is there a list of references?

ACCURACY

  • Does the information appear to be accurate (spelling, format, etc.)?
  • Are the webpages easy to navigate, structurally sound, and usable?
  • Can you verify the information elsewhere?
  • Do others in the field review the content of the site?

OBJECTIVITY

  • What goals do the pages meet?
  • What biases are reflected in the site?
  • Is the information intended to persuade the audience?
  • Does this site link only to similar points-of-view?

 COVERAGE

  • Is the Web site still under construction?
  • Does the site provide a comprehensive range of thought and theory on the subject?

 FINAL QUESTIONS

  • Is the site relevant to my topic?
  • Is this the best information I can find on my topic?
  • Does this site complement material I have already gathered

 

Thanks to Anne Arunduel Community College for this checklist.

 

Acknowledgements

This guide is adapted with permission from Gwinnet Technical College: http:www.gwinnetttech.edu/

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