Websites vs. Databases Glenforest Secondary School Library Resource Centre Primary Source: M. Rosettis, St. Augustine Evaluating Web Sites Evaluating a web site is an important activity because … not all information found on the World Wide Web is accurate and not all web sites, no matter how attractive, are good. It’s … All About Ongoing Critical Concern AAOCC … Accuracy Authority Objectivity Currency Coverage Accuracy Who wrote the page? Can you contact the author / webmaster? What is the purpose of the document? Is the author qualified to write this document? Accuracy Check for: e-mail address postal address or phone number Know the difference: Author v.s. Webmaster Authority What are the author’s credentials? Where is the document published? Is there institutional affiliation? Check the URL domain for clues: – .edu, .org, .gov, .com, .mil – .ca, .on, .au, .uk, etc. Example: http://tqjunior.www.thinkquest.org/4471 http://www.nasa.gov/spaceflight Objectivity What are the goals of the web site? … to persuade … to inform … to entertain … to sell Are the goals met? Objectivity How detailed is the information? – too simple, just right, too complex? What opinions are expressed? Is the information free of bias? Does the site promote advertising? Currency When was it produced? – Look for copyright © information When was the site last updated? Do all the links function? Is the information on the page outdated? Coverage Is there a balance of text and images? Do the links complement the web site’s theme? Is the information cited correctly? Coverage Is special software required to browse the web site? Is there a cost to view the information? Is the site organized well? In Summary: If the site: lists the author and institution that published the web page(s) provides a way to contact the author lists the author’s credentials has a preferred domain (.edu, .gov, .org, .net) In Summary: provides has accurate information limited advertising is objective (unbiased) in presenting information Is current and is updated regularly In Summary: Has operational and relevant links Can be viewed without limitations Then your information source is most likely a reliable and valid one for your research. Remember … AAOCC It’s All About Ongoing Critical Concern. M. Rosettis ~ 2001 Do these websites A A O C C? www.dowethics.com www.getoutraged.com www.whirledbank.org www.moonmovie.com/moonmovie/ www.malepregnancy.com www.sandman.com/telco.html www.dhmo.org www.whyfiles.org/020radiation/ www.kevdo.com/lipbalm/addict.html www.nidsci.org/ You may want to consider using a library database instead … What is a library database? What is a library database? A website that requires a paid subscription in order to access information. Contains information from published works such as articles from magazines or encyclopedias. Can be used to search for titles, authors, magazines, dates, etc. Often give you access to full-text articles that can be printed or e-mailed. Are selected by librarians to meet the needs of their library patrons. How is a library database different from a website? Library Databases Get their information from professionals or experts in the field. Contain published works where facts are checked. Easy to cite in a bibliography and may create the citation for you Help you narrow down your topic or suggest related subjects. Updated frequently and include the date of publication. Available to anyone using a computer in a library that subscribes to databases or any library cardholder using a computer outside the library. Websites Can be written by anyone regardless of expertise. Content is not necessarily checked by anyone, expert or not. Don't provide the information necessary to create a complete citation. Aren't often organized to support student research needs. May not contain current information or indicate when a page is updated. Available to anyone with an internet connection inside or outside the library. What databases are available on www.glenforestlibrary.com TumbleReadables Global Issues in Context BigChalk (elibrary, History Study Centre, Proquest Literature) CultureGrams Statistics Canada Ebsco Canadiana Encyclopedia Encyclopedia Britannica Encarta Infotrac Science Research Centre Always remember … A good resource does not hide its identity from the user. Good luck with your research!