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Evaluating Web-based material for your academic work

9 Oct 2013
by

Karl Drinkwater

on 9 October 2013

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Transcript of Evaluating Web-based material for your academic work

Karl Drinkwater
kkd@aber.ac.uk

Evaluating Web-based material for your academic work
Quick research task
How authoritative is this site?
Would it be a good source for scholarly work by a chemistry student?
What evidence is there to support your answer?
How current is the information?
Any other thoughts?
Feedback
What did we learn?
Quick research task
A vast amount of information is available at your fingertips on the Internet and most of it has not undergone any kind of review process prior to publication. Anyone can upload websites or post information. Can you trust that what you are reading is appropriate for study in higher education?
Critically evaluate resources
How can you critically evaluate resources (especially web page content) for academic quality?

What features will you be looking for?
Who?
What?
When?
Why?
Where?
= How good a resource it is.
The 5 W’s
Who? (Authority)
Who wrote it?
Can you contact them?
Is there an ‘About’ button on a website?
What are their credentials? [Authority]
Are they associated with a reputable institution?
Is it peer-reviewed or quality controlled?
Look at grammar and spelling.
What? (Relevance)
What is the site or item about?
At what level is it written?
What does the URL of the website tell me about it?
What is this website or printed item's relevance to my research?
When? (Currency)
When was it last updated?
On websites look for indications that the page is regularly updated.
Beware of websites that contain many broken links.
In printed material check the date of publication.
Why? (Bias)
Why did the author write it and publish it?
Is the source biased or impartial?
Is advertising clearly differentiated from content information?
Where? (Context)
Where does the information come FROM?
Verify content. Look for fully cited sources of information.
Where does it link or refer TO?
Effective Study and Life Skills Collection, Level F
Wider relevance
Primo: the library catalogue
Evaluation
matrix
Other help and tips
Virtual Training Suite: VTS
www.vtstutorials.co.uk
www.vtstutorials.ac.uk/detective/

Do the VTS tutorial for your
subject, or the Internet Detective.
Apply the 5 W's elsewhere.
Subject help
http://primo.aber.ac.uk

Quality resources from a trusted source.
Save records of items you look at.
Your choice!
Exercise on spoof websites – possibly using an evaluation matrix.
Primo.
One of the two help tutorials.
To finish...
http://librariesandtransliteracy.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/crap-detection-a-21st-century-literacy/
www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/subject/
Full transcript