We spend time investigating many things in our lives, but often times we do not investigate the source of our online information. The Web is comprised of thousands of quality sites, providing invaluable data, research and guidance. Unfortunately, it also contains inaccurate, unverified and fabricated information. If we are researching something for work or personal use, shouldn’t we investigate the source?
Take a minute and ask yourself a few questions when you find a webpage of interest. Does the author have a certain bias? That isn’t a bad thing, just something to consider. Who is the author? Where is the information coming from – what is the domain (eg. Is it a .gov, .edu, .org)?
UC Berkeley has a very good site entitled “Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask.” This is an excellent resource to help the researcher look critically at a website. The site is part of their “Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial” series.