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New Vista: Psychology of Imprisonment (Dimiziani-Cascio): Evaluate

Evaluating Information

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

• When was the information published or posted? Has it 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• Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?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.

• 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 few other sources before deciding this is one you will use?

Authority: The source of the information.

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

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

• Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email 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 information

• 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?

• Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?

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

-- Adapted from the handout “Evaluating Information -Applying the CRAAP Test” attributed to Meriam Library, California State University, Chico, August 24, 2004

 

Evaluating Websites

This information was adapted from UC Berkeley Library’s “Finding Information on the Internet: Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask” Available from http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html  

 

Look at the URL

  • Is someone’s name in the url? Is it a Wordpress, Google, or similar site? 
  • What’s the domain name? .org, .gov, and .edu sites are more trustworthy, but there can still be weird stuff 
  • Does the url match with the name of the site?
    • Try sneaky Berkeley trick #1: Truncate back the URL when it’s very long:  In the address bar, delete the end characters of the URL stopping just before each / (leave the slash). Press enter to see if you can see more about the author or the origins/nature of the site providing the page.  Continue deleting, one slash (/) at a time, until you reach the first single / which is preceded by the domain name portion. This is the page's server or "publisher."   ‚Äč

What’s the dirt on this site? 

  • Sneaky Berkeley trick #2: Use alexa.com Type or paste the URL into alexa.com's search box.  

  • You will see, depending on the volume of traffic to the page:   

  • Traffic details. 
  • Contact/ownership info for the domain name. 
  • "Related links" to other sites visited by people who visited the page. 
  • Sites linking in to the page.