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Evaluating Websites

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					Evaluating Websites
When evaluating websites,
remember to ask yourself:
Who, what, when, where, why & how?

This is the tried and true formula used by
police, journalists, and researchers – Who,
What, When, Where & Why – which can be
applied in cyberspace to help identify
credible online information sources.
Ask yourself:
 Has someone taken responsibility for the content of
  this Web site?

   Is information about the author or organization clearly
    stated?

   Are there any links to in-depth information about the
    author or organization?

   Can you contact the company or author through a real
    world postal address or phone number?

   Can you confirm that the company or author is a
    credible, authoritative source of information?
   Is the information biased in any way?
   Is emotion used as a means of persuasion?
   Does the site offer more than one viewpoint?
   Does the site's information seem thorough and
    well organized?
   Does the site clearly state the topics it intends
    to address?
   Is the information well written and easy to
    understand?
   Does the site offer a list of further in-depth
    resources or links to such resources?
   Is it important that the information you’re
    looking for be absolutely current?

   Is a reference date provided to show when
    the material was put online, or when it was
    last updated?

   Do the links work? Outdated links may be
    inactive now.
.gov websites
 .gov, .ca, .uk, etc applies to federal, provincial
  departments. This is the country code.

.edu websites
 University and college programs (most Canadian
  universities tend to use .ca)

.com, .org, .net
 In the early days of the Web, .org indicated a wide
  assortment of groups, including non-profit
  organizations; now you must evaluate these sites to
  ensure credibility
Before you explore what’s out in cyberspace,
it's a good idea to stop and consider whether or
not the Internet is the best place to start.

Ask yourself:
 Can I get the information faster offline?

 Does the online material I'm finding suit my needs?

 Perhaps you should try using a library print/electronic
  resource or database instead?
Searching for print resources
in the library?
 Click on library catalogue (purple book with yellow
  question mark – icon)
 Type in your general search term
 Determine whether fiction or non-fiction
 Check availability
 Understand where to locate the resource
 * remember a general book may contain specific
  information related to your topic – check the index
  and table of contents *
 You must have a student card to sign-out books
What is a library database?
   A website that requires a paid subscription in order
    to access information.

   Contains information from published works such as
    articles from magazines or encyclopedias.

   Can be used to search for titles, authors,
    magazines, dates, etc.

   Often give you access to full-text articles that can be
    printed or e-mailed.
How is a database different from a
website?
Library Databases                           Websites
  Get their information from                Can be written by anyone
   professionals or experts in the field.     regardless of expertise.
  Contain published works where             Content is not necessarily checked
   facts are checked.                         by anyone, expert or not.
  Easy to cite in a bibliography and        Don't provide the information
   may create the citation for you.           necessary to create a complete
  Help you narrow down your topic or         citation.
   suggest related subjects.                 Aren't often organized to support
  Updated frequently and include the         student research needs.
   date of publication.                      May not contain current information
  Available to anyone using a                or indicate when a page is updated.
   computer in a library that subscribes     Available to anyone with an internet
   to databases or any library                connection inside or outside the
   cardholder using a computer outside        library.
   the library.
 How do I access the databases
 in the SLSS Library?
From school:
 Click on Library catalogue icon
 Select Digital Library, Online Reference
 Select Infotrak, Grolier, Canadian Reference Center, Student
   Research Centre, Teen Health & Wellness (explore as many
   databases you’d like)
From Home:
 From SLSS website, click on Departments/Library/Research
 Select Library Catalogue – follow same instructions above
 Find the required usernames and passwords on the laminated
   bookmarks at circulation desk – they’re free! 

   Remember: You can also try the public library and have books
    transferred to the closest library to your home within days!
And always remember …
   A good resource does not hide its identity
    from the user.

   Good luck with your research!

   If you have any questions, please do not
    hesitate to ask Ms. Devani or Ms. Budak-
    Gosse for further assistance.

				
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posted:10/15/2012
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