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Human Services: Evaluating Internet Resources

Web Content

Information found on the internet can be very helpful.  Searching the internet provides you with fast results; and some websites provide very high quality information. 

However, much of what's available on the internet is not appropriate for college level research.  Much of the information is inaccurate, biased, out-of-date, or incomplete. 

TED Talk: Bias on the Internet

TED Talk: Media Manipulation

Measures of Information Quality

Authority

Does the page identify authors and their credentials?

Does the page identify the person or organization that hosts it?

What is the domain? (.com.; .gov; .edu; .org.)

Accuracy

Is the information cited?

Are there misspellings or grammatical errors?

Can anyone post to the website? (e.g. Wikipedia)

Objectivity

Does the headline accurately describe the content?

Does the authoring body have a bias or agenda?

Is inflammatory, emotional or political language being used?

Currency

Are there references to recent developments?

Are dates included (e.g. "First Posted" date, "Last Updated" date)?

Content

Does the content supply more images or advertising than text?

How detailed is the information supplied?

Also . . .

Be sure to read sources with different perspectives.

Read the original context of quotes and citations.

Why Can't I Just Google?

TED Talk: Fake News