• Lab Section C added (Thurs, 3pm-4:30)
• PsycInfo has changed in appearance
library home page, article indexes, p
• Questions about PsycInfo Assignment
• a list of 5 research questions, identify the one you used for the rest of
• (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)
• 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
• 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
• Opinions - personal views of a subject. These
may be useful, but use caution.
• Stories - may or may not contain facts -be
• 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
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
• Author - Reputable? Well-known?
Dependable? Professional? Backed by a
• Content - Accurate? Up-to-date? Objective?
Comprehensive? Complete? Verifiable?
• Source - Respectable? Reachable? Well-
known? Easily accessed? Professional?
Review of Traditional Evaluation
• CARS = Credibility, Accuracy,
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• Is the material supported by citations from
• Are the other sources valid and dependable?
• Is a bibliography or reference section
• Can the material be backed up by other
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
• 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
• 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
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
• Attempt to verify the information by using
• 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
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