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EDU - online: Evaluating Information

help for the distance education student

Tips for Evaluating Information

Here are some things to look for when you're evaluating a Web site or a source other than an article found through a library database, book, etc.

Currency

Simply speaks to the recency of published information.   

Authorship

Locate the author of a publication, Web site, etc. Is he or she qualified to speak on a given topic?

Sponsorship

Sometimes a sponsor will have a hidden agenda.  This is something that I learned when looking for the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) in SourceWatch.  

Purpose/Audience

Ties in with authorship and sponsorship.  What is the intent of the Web site or publication?

Accuracy

Is the information found on a given Web site, book, etc. accurate?  

Hacker, Diana, and Barbara Fister.  (2009).  "Tips for Evaluating Sources." Bedford/St. Martin's.com. Bedford St. Martin's, n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2011.  Retrieved from http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/tips.html.

Quaratiello, Arlene, and Jane Devine. The College Student's Research Companion : Finding, Evaluating, and Citing the Resources You Need to Succeed. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2011.

Website Spoofs - http://www.sree.net/stories/feline.html

Tools for Evaluating Organizations on the Web

These sites will help you find out whether or not the organization that is sponsoring a Web site you've selected is trying to persuade or inform you.

  

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Susan Kromrie
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