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#6 EVALUATING INFORMATION
Since the web is a self-publishing medium, anyone can and does publish on the web. Consequently, it's imperative to evaluate the information that you find on the web for authority, currency and relevancy. Remember that academic research assignments require an authoritative bibliography. Learn the criteria for evaluating web sites and how to apply evaluation techniques to books and periodicals, too.

Evaluating The Web
Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages
learn how to evaluate web sites by determining their authority, relevancy and currency
Remember
Unlike scholarly print periodicals and books, where the information is subjected to a process of review, anyone can publish on the web. Many web sites are also designed for commercial purposes and, consequently, are designed to influence!

Evaluating Periodicals
Learn the important differences between the various types of periodicals. Do you need to use popular magazines and/or scholarly periodicals? They each serve different purposes and are written for specific audiences.

Use Ulrich's Periodical Directory to help determine if a periodical is "peer reviewed or refereed". Oftentimes, research articles must be reviewed by a "jury" of experts or scholars before they're published. This process is known as "peer-reviewed" or "refereed."
Note
There are important differences between the various types of periodicals. Learn how to evaluate periodicals by looking at their format, intended audience, and if possible, their physical appearance.

Evaluating Books
Learn how to evaluate books by using book reviews to gather critical and other valuable information. Look at these additional points about evaluating books from the Purdue University Library.

Selected Books In The Oakton Library

Magazines for Libraries
Call Number: REF Z6941 K2 (DP & RHC)

A Prentice Hall Guide to Evaluating Online Resources
Call Number: PE1408.B76 (DP)


Web of Deception: Misinformation on The Internet
Call Number: ZA4201.W43 (DP)


Web Wisdom: How To Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web
Call Number: TK5105.888.A376 1999 (DP)

Periodicals
Use an online periodical index such as
Academic Search FullTEXT Premier to search for articles relating to the importance of evaluating information.

Remember
Evaluating the authority, usefulness and reliability of the information you find is a crucial and important step in the research process. Learn the criteria for critically analyzing web sites, periodicals and books for your college level research and you'll also develop your information literacy skills. It's imperative in this age of information over-load!
Note
How To Critically Analyze Information Sources lists some of the critical questions to ask when considering the appropriateness of a book, periodical article, media resource or an online version of any of these.


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