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Wiki Sourced to Wicked Good: Open Internet & Library-Supported Information

Background on evaluating open internet resources for academic work and suggestions of library-supported sources for general information-gathering

Evaluation - a more detailed overview

The librarians at Carney LIbrary, University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth, have created a short demonstration of website evaluation techniques. 

Can I / should I use this website information for an academic project? 

Watch Evaluating Internet Sources from the librarians at UMass/Dartmouth and see.

Evaluation Criteria (UMass/Dartmouth)

 

CRAAP test (California State Univ./Chico)     original CRAAP test

Ownership

Publisher

AUTHORITY

 

Author

AUTHORITY

Content

Currency

CURRENCY

 

Publication Type

RELEVANCE

 

Accuracy

ACCURACY

 

Purpose

PURPOSE

 

Objectivity

PURPOSE

This table illustrates how the UMass evaluation criteria relate to the CRAAP evaluation criteria.

What more detailed criteria and techniques for evaluation were recommended in the UMass video?

  • Look at the highest level DOMAIN of the URL [Remember: any one may use dot com, dot net, or dot org – not necessarily non-profits.]
  • Check the ABOUT link: legitimate sites tell you why they exist and what their mission and goals are.  The publisher or “responsible party” should be clear.  Bias and limits to objectivity, i.e. vested interests, are often revealed here. 
  • Whose information is this?  Was it generated here or borrowed.  If borrowed, did that author/publisher have the authority or expertise to write on the topic?
  • What is missing?  Ignoring key facts – “cherry-picking” the available data – means the site is creating an inaccurate picture even though the facts stated may be correct.

           

[Fry and Laurie’s famous Library vs Cricket sketch illustrates clearly how missing data distorts our understanding of a topic.]