Gaeilge

The Research Process

Evaluating Web Resources-

No matter what information you find online you should always evaluate it to see if it is accurate, it supports the argument you were discussing, and is appropriate for a college assignment/dissertation.

To do this you should use think about the following points:

  • Accuracy: is it clear to you that the information is correct? Can you easily verify the information on the website using another source?
  • Authority: where it the information coming from? Is the author affliated to an organisation, company, or educational insitution? Or are they just giving their own personal opinion?
  • Bias: What is the purpose of the website/article etc? Is it simply trying to inform you about the topic, or is it pushing a particular side of the argument in favour or against an issue? Is it there to promote/sell something? Can you see information about possible outside sponsorship that might indicate why a particular argument is being made? Bias is very important when evaluating something on the Web.
  • Currency: Is there a 'last updated' date anywhere on the page? Are the links provided stil live? Any dead links will indicate that a site/resource hasn't been updated and therefore may not provide accurate information.
  • Peer Review: Is the author recognised as being an authority on this particular topic? Is it cited in other articles/ on other websites? Has someone recommended this particular resource?
  • Relevance: Is the information provided actually what you want? Has your understanding of the topic increased by reading this?

If you use these points to evaluate your online resource you should be able to narrow down what you should use and what you shouldn't. You should also produce work of a higher standard because your references have been critically evaluated. 

 

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