10 Ways To Determine The Credibility Of Information On The Internet
Sylvia L. Pitts
COM / 526
10 ways to determine the credibility of information on the internet
1. Is there any evidence that the author of the Web information has some authority in the field about which she or he is providing information? What are the author’s qualifications, credentials and connections to the subject?
2. With what organization or institution is the author associated? Is there a link to the sponsoring organization, a contact number and / or address or e-mail contact? A link to an association does not necessarily mean that the organization approved the content.
3. Does the author have publications in peer reviewed (scholarly and professional) publications, on the Web or in hard copy? (If an author does not have peer reviewed articles published, this does not mean that she or he does not have credible information, only that there has been no professional “test” of the author’s authority on that subject.)
4. Are there clues that the author/s are biased? For example, is he/she selling or promoting a product? Is the author taking a personal stand on a social/political issue or is she the author being objective? Bias is not necessarily “bad,” but the connections should be clear.
5. Is the Web information current? If there are a number of out-of-date links that do not work or old news, what does this say about the credibility of the information?
6. Does the information have a complete list of works cited, which reference credible, authoritative sources? If the information is not backed up with sources, what is the author’s relationship to the subject to be able to give and “expert” opinion?
7. Can the subject you are researching be fully covered with WWW sources or should print sources provide balance? Much scholarly research is still only available in traditional print form. It is safe to assume that if you have limited background...