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Researching SFCC Library: EVALUATING WEB SITES

A basic introduction to using the SFCC Library web page to access databases and locate quality resources.

Playing Detective

If you are suspicious about information you may want to "google" the author or the organization sponsoring the page. 
 

If you really want to play detective look up the registration information use a Whois

Who Is? http://whois.domaintools.com/

The Whois sites let you see who has registered the domain on the Internet.  Ownership information is not always informative but occassionally it can be very interesting to find out the name of a company or person that owns a particular website.


Also Useful

 Snopes http://snopes.com to track down facts versus rumors & urban legends. 


Alternative Search Engines

DuckDuckGo http://duckduckgo.com  The less cluttered website that doesn't share your information; emphasis on privacy.

Evaluating Resources

Interesting Web Sites

Which is the REAL World Trade Organization?   Below are some interesting websites to evaluate.


Evaluation of web sites

1.    Authority

  Is the author or organization responsible for the page clearly identifiedAre the author's credentials on the subject stated? 

   Look For: About us, Contact us or Google the sponsoring organization to see if they are repudible.  Read the Mission statement

   This is where Wikipedia falls short

   Good news .gov and .mil sites are considered relaible. 

   When using .edu sites one must consider if the author is a qualified professional with credentials in the field or a student. 

       

 2.    Accuracy

  Can unique information be verified in other sources?

   Think especially of  Wikipedia information

  Were established research standards used?

"Studies show...." is not acceptable without specific sources or studies cited.

  Are references cited?

 

3.    Objectivity

 Are there advertisements on the site?  Do the advertisements have a direct relationship to the content of the site?

One example is drugs or vitamins for sale or advertised on a health related web site 

Check Dr. Weil http://www.drweil.com/  Register and take the Wellness test and you will find ads for vitamins in your e-mail.

  Melatonin http://www.melatonin.com/ is not a source for serious studies of the drugs effectivenss. 

 


 

4.  Is the purpose of the page or site to promote a particular viewpoint?

 Is information withheld?   An .org (organization) may be formed only to advocate a particular viewpoint by using facts selectively.

    Check the purpose of the organization providing the web page.

For example:FAIR http://www.fairus.org/ Read the mission or about us statement. If you check About FAIR you will find that the organization has adopted a very specific position and is not likely to present both sides of the immigration issue. 

 Are value statements made in absolutes (best, worst, 100%, etc.)?