Evaluating Information

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Introduction

The World Wide Web offers information and data from all over the world. Because so much information is available, and because that information can appear to be fairly “anonymous”, it is necessary to develop skills to evaluate what you find. When you use a research or academic library, the books, journals and other resources have already been evaluated by scholars, publishers and librarians. Every resource you find has been evaluated in one way or another before you ever see it. A lot of great information can be found online, but it's trickier to know what has been peer-reviewed online and what has not, because anyone can write a web page. Excellent resources reside along side the most dubious. The Internet epitomizes the concept of caveat lector: let the reader beware.

This guide discusses the criteria by which scholars in most fields evaluate print information, and shows how the same criteria can be used to assess information found on the Internet.

Evaluating Sources for Credibility