Evaluating Internet Web Sources - AJSmith

Internet Web
Know what you’re using!
Knowing where you are starting
 .com
 .edu
 .int
 .gov
 .mil
 .net
 .org
 .uk,
 .k12
aug, ca
 Commercial
 Educational institution
 International organization
 Nonmilitary government
 Military organization
 Network
 Nonprofit or nonacademic
 Country codes
 School (student or teacher)
1. Authority of Author
 Is
the author clearly identified?
 Is the author an authority in the field? What
are the author’s credentials?
 Is there a way to contact the author?
 Email?
Phone? Address?
 Is
the author affiliated with a legitimate
organization (college/university, agency,
 Is this information available?
 Usually
at the bottom of the site
 If not…this might be a clue
2. Currency of site and
 Does it give the date of last revision?
 Has it been recently updated?
 Are the links active? Are there dead links?
 Are there any references included? Are the
sources current?
 Is the information current?
This will be dependent on your topic (how old is too
3. Accuracy of Content
 Does
the information seem accurate,
according to what you already know?
 Does it seem to make sense with other
sources in mind?
 Are there any obvious biases (affiliation
with a biased group, etc.)
4. Purpose of the site
(Why does it exist?)
 Who
are the advertisers or sponsors?
 Is there a biased organization involved?
 Is there an “About” or FAQ page that
gives a mission or purpose statement
5. Other Considerations
(using your brain!)
 Spelling
and grammar errors
 Check for profanity
 Check URL
(dot what?)
“~” usually indicates a personal site
 Where
do the links go?
NO NOs (do it, and suffer)
NO wikipedia.com
Go to the bottom where it lists sources
NO msnencarta.com
You can edit these…if you can, anyone can
Destroys consistency (may not be the same tomorrow)
 Difficult to determine validity
Keep track of where all your info comes from so you
can cite it (more on this exciting topic to come)
 www.easywhois.com
 Get
rid of the extra symbols (/)
 Tells you all kinds of great information
Who the website is registered to
Put that in Google…and tada!
 Practice!
Do this for the website on the last slide
and see what you get
What’s out there
 Check
out this site
 What
do you notice?
 Check this out
is registered to Tom Way, a
professor in Delaware. It will take you to
his website, and he explains the idea
behind it there
 Try
this one
 http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus
 First
 Check 1
 Easy
Who Is
 Registered
to Zapatopi
 Google: ad for monitoring who is on your site
these kinds of cookies and codes are often linked to
identity theft
Look again—he is a sociology major—an experiment?
 Check
 Check
 Seems
 I’ve
never hear of it…
Taking Notes
How to take and use notes
for this project
Now that you know what to
look for…
 How
many sources do you need?
You will need to use 5 sources in your paper
 That
means you will need to look at MORE
THAN 5 (this should NOT be hard)
 What
kind of sources do you need?
Need a variety of web-based sources
 Why
is it important to vary your sources?
Varying your sources
Primary Source: original materials that have not been
altered or distorted in any; way an artifact created in
the time of study; a document, a recording, or other
source of information that was created at the time
under study; an original source of information about
the topic
Secondary Source: is a document or recording that
related to information originally presented elsewhere
Interview, news article, statistics (like a census)
Commentary, editorial
Tertiary Source: an index and/or textual summary or
condensing of a primary or secondary source
Some examples of tertiary sources: almanacs, guide
books, surveys, timelines, encyclopedia
For your paper
 When
researching: Must find ONE of each
of these three sources to record on your
web log
 When writing: Must use at least TWO
different kinds in your paper
Not everything you research will be used in
your paper, but within the 5 sources you use
in the paper, there will need to be some
Taking Notes
How should you take notes: as long as you can keep it
organized regarding what info came from which source,
the notes are for your use. Here are possible options:
 Note cards
 Copy/paste onto a document
 Hand write
 Print/highlight
 Problem/Solution chart
 Notes by guiding questions (more on this to come)
How will I check your notes:
Work logs: checked during work time
Annotated Bibliography
Annotated Bibliography
 What
is it?
Annotate: To provide critical commentary or
Bibliography: a list of sources used in the support of
 What does it look like?
Citations and a paragraph explanation
 What kind of notes will you need to get it done?
 Citation notes
 Author information
 The facts that you got from your source