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BIO 241 - 242 - Organization of Life

URLs

.com - Commercial

.edu - Educational institution

.org - Organization or association

.gov - Government website

.ca - Canadian website

.uk - United Kingdom website

~ - Personal website


Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask

Steps and Guidelines for effectively evaluating websites. (From UC-Berkeley)

Evaluate Carefully

"...[O]nce we come up with a hypothesis to test, most of us embrace it too strongly. As a result, we don't read sources as objectively as we should. When you seek to support a particular answer, you quickly spot data and arguments that confirm it, but you'll be tempted to overlook or reinterpret data that contradict or even just qualify it. And when the data are ambiguous, you'll be tempted to resolve ambiguities in your favor.

You have to guard against those biases, both in your own work and in your sources."

(Booth, Colomb & Williams, The Craft of Research, 2003, p. 91)

The CRAAP Test

Currency:

 The timeliness of the information.

• When was the information published or posted?

• Has the information been revised or updated?

• Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?  

§Are the links functional?

Relevance:

 The importance of the information for your needs.

• Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?

• Who is the intended audience?

• Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?

• Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?

• Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority:  

The source of the information.

• Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?

• Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?

• What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?

• What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?

• Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?

§Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

Accuracy:  

The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content.

• Where does the information come from?

• Is the information supported by evidence?

• Has the information been reviewed or refereed?

• Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?

• Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?

• Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose:  

The reason the information exists.

• What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?

• Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?

• Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?

• Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?

• Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

 

9/29/09. Meriam Library, California State University, Chico http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf

Websites

.com - Commercial

.edu - Educational institution

.org - Organization or association

.gov - Government website

.ca - Canadian website

.uk - United Kingdom website

~ - Personal website


Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask

 

Steps and Guidelines for effectively evaluating websites. (From UC-Berkeley)