|Image from Encyclopaedia Britannica |
It's the beginning of week 11, which probably means you are working on final assignments. If you are considering using web resources in your research, it is important to evaluate these resources to determine if they are reliable, accurate, and appropriate for university-level research.
You should exercise healthy skepticism when it comes to online resources until you have determined that they are authoritative and relevant to your needs. Use the following checklists to help you determine what resources are right for your research:
Firstly you need to check the domain:
- .gov – government site
- .com – commercial site
- .edu/.ac – educational or research material
- .org – organisation (Note: Not all .org sites are the official sites. Check the “About us” information on the site to make sure.)
- .net – networks, some organisations, Internet Service Providers
Now that you have checked the domain, open the webpage and look closely at the content:
- Authority - Who is the author and can you trust him/her/the organisation?
- Currency - How old is it? When was the site last updated?
- Clarity - Can you understand what the author is saying?
- Objectivity - Can you detect a bias? Is this an objective study or a personal opinion?
- Coverage - Can you find further information linked to this site?
- Audience - Who does the site target? Are you the intended audience?
So if you need any help, just Ask a librarian!