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• Lab Section C added (Thurs, 3pm-4:30)
• PsycInfo has changed in appearance
  library home page, article indexes, p

• Questions about PsycInfo Assignment
                    PsycInfo Assignment

To Summarize:
• a list of 5 research questions, identify the one you used for the rest of
   the assignment
• (b) an introduction using at least 3 of the articles relevant to the
   research question, ending with your research (experimental) and null
• (c) a printout of the 5 references you found using PsycInfo
• (d) a properly-formatted APA-style reference section for at least 5
   references relevant to your research topic
• (d) a completed interlibrary loan form for a reference not available in
   the Acadia library (highlight this reference on the PsycInfo printout).
•   Writing an Introduction APA style
•   Begin with your research question
•   Not simply a summary; compare and contrast
•   What material should an introduction contain?
•   - topic the authors investigated
•   -their hypotheses,variables, main findings
•   see links page, p. 406 text, section 1.08 (p.11)
    APA manual
            Discussion Overview

• What is different about information on the
  internet versus traditional resource material?
• What can be found on the World Wide Web?
• Evaluation techniques - CARS
• 3 central concerns: author, source, content
• Different types of Web Pages found
• Common problems and solutions
      What is different about Internet
• Anyone can print anything on the World Wide
• Unlike traditional resources, there is no one
  to review material, edit material, or rebuke
  erroneous information.
• Search engines cannot differentiate between
  a reputable source and an expert wannabe.
  All web sites, good and bad, will be retrieved
     What can be found on the Web?

• Facts - useful information if they are from a
  reputable source.
• Opinions - personal views of a subject. These
  may be useful, but use caution.
• Stories - may or may not contain facts -be
  VERY careful.
• Interpretations - again, personal views - be
• Statistics - can be useful information if the
  source is reliable and the stats have been
  collected and analysed correctly.
• Advertising - many sites are infomercials
  designed to sell the reader on a product, a
  company, or even an idea - use extreme
            5 Types of Web Pages

•   Personal
•   Informational
•   News
•   Advocacy
•   Business/Marketing
     Evaluating Personal Web Pages

• Are the author’s qualifications stated?
• Can you verify information about the author?
• Is there a reference section or bibliography?
• Is the material grammatically well-written?
• Is the material up-to-date? (last revised
• Is the information complete and objective?
         Author, Content, Source

• 3 most important things to examine when
  evaluating information
• Author - Reputable? Well-known?
  Dependable? Professional? Backed by a
  well-known organization?
• Content - Accurate? Up-to-date? Objective?
  Comprehensive? Complete? Verifiable?
• Source - Respectable? Reachable? Well-
  known? Easily accessed? Professional?
      Review of Traditional Evaluation
           Techniques -CARS
• CARS = Credibility, Accuracy,
  Reasonableness, Support
• Checklist that can discriminate high quality
  information from low quality information.
• The more criterion the resource meets, the
  more likely that it is a high quality piece of

• How credible is the author, the content, the
  source in general?
• Look for sources that include author’s name,
  title, organizational affiliation, and contact
• Do you recognize the author’s name from
  other sources - if not, try to find the name in
  other resource material.
        Positive Signs of Credibility
• Resource is found on an organization’s web
• Material is in an on-line journal that is peer
• Material is taken from quality controlled books
  or magazines.
• Author is well reputed in his/her field, and
  highly reviewed by peers.
• Publisher has editors and fact checkers on
          Negative Signs of Credibility

•   No author stated.
•   No obvious signs of peer reviewing.
•   Poor reviews of author, material, or web site.
•   Material is grammatically poor.
•   No indication of publisher responsibility.
•   Bias in the material - someone is trying to sell
    you something!

• Is the information true, up-to-date, sufficiently
  detailed, and comprehensive?
• Important dates to look for:
       -date first created
       -date placed on web
       -date last revised
• Browsers can show creation and modification
  dates: eg. Netscape - view/document info
• Be critical of the purpose of the material.
  Articles that contain a hidden bias to
  persuade the reader in a certain direction
  are the most common kind of information
  found on the web.
• Make sure the material has been covered
  completely - sometimes on-line material has
  been edited from the printed version.
• Make sure the information has been kept up-
        Positive Signs of Accuracy

• Material has been recently or continually
• Material is from a reputable publisher and
• Dates are clearly and completely displayed.
• Information is complete and un-bias.
• Goals of material clearly stated.
        Negative Signs of Accuracy

• Material has no date appearing on it, or an
  old date on material that changes rapidly.
• Material is vague or general.
• Material is bias or one-sided.
• Errors are found in the information presented.
•   Is the information presented fairly?
•   Are the arguments reasonable?
•   Is the information consistent?
•   Is the information at a suitable level for the
    intended use? (is it intended for children, high
    school, university, or professionals)
      Positive Signs of Reasonability

• Material is presented in a concise and
  effective manner.
• All aspects of the subject are covered
  objectively and clearly.
• Material is written without bias.
• Material is believable and makes sense.
• Information is consistent throughout
     Negative Signs of Reasonability

• Material has an emotional undertone.
• Information seems exaggerated to get a point
• Material conflicts with common sense or is
  unbelievable. (This is not to say that
  seemingly unbelievable information is never
  fact, but it needs to checked out carefully
  before accepted.)
• Is the material supported by citations from
  other sources?
• Are the other sources valid and dependable?
• Is a bibliography or reference section
• Can the material be backed up by other
  resource materials?
         Positive Signs of Support

• Material is backed up with references and
  citations from credible sources.
• Author gives contact information.
• Links are relevant and credible.
• Additional information links are provided.
         Negative signs of Support

• Material has no references to back up
• External collaboration is difficult or impossible
  to find.
• Author or publisher does not provide contact
• Other internet sources fail to back up the
               5 Types of Web Pages

• Personal (url will normally contain a tilde (~) somewhere in
  the address)
• News (URL normally ends in .com)
• Informational      (Usually sponsored by educational institutions
  (URL ends with .edu) or government agencies (URL ends with .gov).
• Advocacy ( url will normally end in .org.)
• Business/Marketing (URL usually ends with .com)
     Problems: Web Page Instability

• Browsers can alter web page design and
  format, putting information out of context.
• Pages may move or disappear without notice,
  leaving you unable to refer back to the
• Web pages can be deliberately or
  accidentally altered.
          Problems with Web Pages

• Always document the source as fully as
  possible, or print the material off so you have
  it to use as a reference later.
• Always include the date of retrieval as part of
  the reference.
• Attempt to verify the information by using
  external sources.

• The Internet is a valuable and necessary part
  of research in today’s high tech world.
• Because technology advances so quickly,
  standards and review boards cannot keep up.
• It is up to the individual (YOU) to evaluate the
  material being read.
• Familiarizing yourself with these guidelines
  will help you decide whether the information
  is high quality or low quality.
          Evaluating WWW Sources

• Always examine the author, content, and
• Type of Knowledge- authority, personal
  observation, reasoning, scientific method
• CARS -credibility, accuracy, reasonableness,
• Decide what type of web page it is, which will
  help you decide how reliable the information
             Accessing Information Part II
     WWW sources and evaluating web pages assignment
• Choose a topic
• Find 3 websites
     – electronic media source
     – scientific
     – nonscientific
Create your own website on your axe account
email the site of your webpage to Jill
Print and submit for Oct 5(A) / Oct 7(B/C)
•   your webpage ;
•   the first page of each of your 3 linked sites
• PRACTICE! Go web surfing and evaluate the
  pages you find. What seems difficult at first
  will become easy with practice.

• For a list of web sites that are useful
  examples, go to:
• The information for this presentation was
  adapted from the following sources:
• compiled by Crystal Todd

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