Evaluating Web Sites

Much of what you will find on the Web is good quality information. Because there is so much out there, however, the quality sites may not always float to the top of your results list.

If you find a Web site and can't attest to its currency, relevance, authority, accuracy or purpose, you probably shouldn't use it as a source of information. There are many Web sites where this will be the case.

The criteria discussed above will help you identify the quality sites that will enhance your research.

In the SEARCHING module, we talked about why Wikipedia may be a very useful source, but not one that you will want to cite in your papers. Remember the disclaimer:

WIKIPEDIA MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF VALIDITY

…Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information.

...The content of any given article may recently have been changed, vandalized or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the relevant fields.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:General_disclaimer

Not all sites will be as up front with disclaimers.

In fact, many sites exist as hoaxes to try to fool users. They may look legitimate at first glance, but the deeper you dig, the more questionable they become.

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