How do I Evaluate Internet Resources?
Let's face it--there is a lot of information available on the Internet! How do you determine if it's GOOD information, especially if you want to use it for research?
- Who wrote this information, and why?
- What credentials or expertise does the author have in the subject area?
- Is the information fact-based, or opinion-based?
- Who owns or is sponsoring the website?
- Who is the intended audience? Is it for scholars, the community, or private groups?
- Does the site include a mission statement?
- What is the purpose of the site? Is it to inform, instruct, persuade, or to sell?
- Is the information biased? If so, does the author acknowledge these biases?
- Does the author present alternative points of view?
- Does the website sponsor have any vested interests that could cause bias?
- Is the information contained in this site correct?
- How accurate is other information within the site?
- Where does the information come from?
- Does the author provide references or a bibliography?
- If references are listed, are they from primary or secondary sources? Are the references themselves trustworthy?
- Do the links to reference work, or are they broken?
- When was the site last updated?
- Have there been any new developments or changes in that subject since it was created? Is it outdated?
- How current are the sources listed as references?
- How will using this source contribute to your research?
- Is this type of resource permitted by your professor?