Searching the Internet
It is possible for anyone to publish on the web which means that not all the information you find there will be accurate, unbiased or current. It is important, therefore, to assess the reliability of the site you are viewing. To do this you should look at:
- Can you identify who has written the information?
- Is it an organization or an individual?
- Do you have contact details?
- Are they qualified to write about the topic?
- Why does the site exist?
- What are its aims?
- It may be expounding a particular cause like animal rights so you need to be aware of possible bias or political agenda.
- Are you getting one opinion or a balanced view?
- Is the site offering the right sort of information?
- Does it answer your needs?
- Can you verify the information?
- Are there links to other sites giving similar views?
- Can you check that the facts are correct?
- When was the site last updated?
- Can you check the date of specific information?
For more help in evaluating internet sources have a look at the following websites:
Internet Detective - A web-based tutorial on evaluating the quality of information found on the Internet.
Intute: Virtual Training Suite - The Intute: Virtual Training Suite provides free Internet tutorials to help you learn how to get the best from the Web for your education and research.