Anyone can publish information on the Internet. Most of the information on the Internet is not reviewed or “filtered.” Unlike books, magazines, and videos that pass through an editor, the content of a web page does not have to be approved by anyone before it is made public. Anyone can say anything on the Internet and it’s not always true. Unfortunately, many people often believe that if it’s on the Internet, then it must be true. So how do you know if something is true on the Internet? Here are some tips for evaluating Internet information:
Tips for evaluating Internet information:
Who is the author or who has authority?
•Is the author clearly identified? Is there information that is included about the author?
•Is the author associated with a known organization or company?
•Is it an author that has educational qualifications, a journalist, or somebody else?
•Has the author ever been published in print of some sort, like a book, magazine, or article?
•Is there any way to contact the author for questions or concerns?
•Can the webmaster be contacted easily?
What company published the information?
•Was it published from an academic institution for academic purposes?
•Is it from a news organization written for a wider audience?
•Has it been produced by an industry or commercial organization?
•Has it been produced by an alternative media?
•Is it a personal document that only contains the individual’s opinion?
When was the material published?
•When was the file last updated?
•Is the information still valid today?
•Does it replicate an already printed publication?
•Information on the Internet is usually more up to date than actual printed publications in books and magazines. The Internet is usually the best place for most up to date information.
Is the content current?
•Some sites are updated or revised without all of the information being revised. Look at the dates and decide what is important to you.
•When was the material first written?
•When was the material first placed on the Internet?
•When was the material last revised or updated?
Why was the material published?
•Does it contain extremely valuable research?
•Does it show new research that is beneficial?
•Is it a news article?
•What audience was it written for?
•Is it trying to persuade the reader to have a certain viewpoint?
•Can you see any bias in it?
•Was it written strictly for advertisement purposes?
How usable is the information?
Usability refers to how easily the site allows you to get to the information quickly.
•Does the site allow people to easily find, read, and use the information?
•Is the site organized in a logical manner to help with the location of the information?
•Does the site have a table of contents that is easy to access?
•Are the pages designed orderly?
•Is the navigation consistent throughout the website?
•Are the links accurate and are they clearly explained?
•Are links to other sites included in the sight? Are they relevant and valuable to the reader?
How accurate is the information?
•How correct or how reliable is the information that is contained on the website?
•Is the information dependable?
•Are the sources of the information stated?
•Is the information verifiable?
•Why is this information being posted on the Internet?
•Is the author supplying real, reliable information or is he or she trying to sell his ideas or opinions to others?
Make sure when looking at information on the Internet that you evaluate it and make sure it is viable information. Following these tips for evaluating Internet information is a great way to ensure you are getting truthful and valuable information. There is a lot of dishonest people and websites out there, so make sure you do your homework before taking anyone’s word.