10 Ways to Determine Credibility on the Internet
The following are five criteria that users should take into consideration when verifying credible information on the Internet:
Accuracy. This refers to the degree to which a website is free from errors, whether the information can be verified offline, and the reliability of the information on the site (Metzger, 2005).
The Authority of a website may be evaluated by noting who authored the site and whether contact information is provided for that person or organization, what the authorfs credentials, qualifications, and affiliations are, and whether the Web site is recommended by a trusted source (Metzger, 2005).
Objectivity - what the authorfs credentials, qualifications, and affiliations are, and whether the Web site is recommended by a trusted source (Metzger, 2005).
Currency refers to whether the information is up-to-date (Metzger, 2005).
Coverage refers to the comprehensiveness or depth of the information provided on the site (Metzger, 2005).
Do not trust a site that is not designed well and does not look well-maintained. For instance, sloppy appearance (colors and fonts) and broken links (Metzger, 2005).
Look for summary meta-information (information about information) For instance abstracts, content summaries, contents, etc. Evaluative meta-information such as recommendations, ratings, reviews, and commentaries, or negative meta-information (Harris, 2006).
Be aware of false objectivity. Look for biases and attempt to determine the intended audience or purpose of the article that is under consideration. (Harris, 2006).
Look for fairness, in that it offers a balanced, reasoned argument, not selected or slanted and that it treats opposing views fairly (Harris, 2006).
Look for citations, especially in instances where there is statistical data (Harris, 2006).
Harris, Robert (1997, November 17). Evaluating Internet research sources. Retrieved April 9,...
References: Harris, Robert (1997, November 17). Evaluating Internet research sources. Retrieved April 9,
2007, from VirtualSalt Web site: http://www.virtualsalt.com/evalu8it.htm
Metzger, Miriam J. (2005, April). Understanding how Internet users make sense of credibility: a
review of the state of our knowledge and recommendations for theory, policy, and practice.
Retrieved April 9, 2007, from American Library Association Web site:
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