Locating sources relevant to your research is an important first step. Nevertheless, not all sources are equally valid and reliable. It is therefore necessary to evaluate the quality of information in the sources you identify before choosing to integrate them into your research paper.
This page will introduce you to the basics of source evaluation in different contexts.
The Internet can be a great place for information on endless topics. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that anyone can put information on the Web—it is unregulated, unmonitored, unchecked, unedited, and of widely differing reliability. It is therefore important that to personally evaluate the validity, authorship, timeliness and integrity of the information you find.
To evaluate websites, ask yourself these questions:
Techniques for web evaluation:
Read the URL carefully.
What type of domain does the source come from? Is it appropriate for the context?
Who published the web page?
Scan the perimeter of the page.
Is the web page current?
What are the author's credentials on the subject?
Look for indicators of quality information.
Some information adapted from UC Berkeley Library-Teaching Library Internet Workshops: Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask
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