October 18, 2010
Real or Fake??
Fact: Anyone can put material on the Internet.
•It’s not hard to create professional-looking work and publish it on the
Internet (unlike textbooks and journals, which must be carefully
researched and edited by teams of experts in order to be published).
•Even popular magazines must cite their sources, as journalists can get
into serious trouble legally and professionally for “making things up.”
How do I know if the site I’m on is
•Is an author identified?
•Does the author include citations and a
•Are the author’s credentials or relevant experience
•Can you contact the author?
•Who sponsored the page? Are they reputable?
•Does the site present information
•Are all sides of an issue represented?
•If not, can you determine the site’s
•Is the level of the website appropriate
for your needs?
•Does the content cover several topics a
little or one topic in depth?
•Does the site provide documentation/evidence
for the information provided?
•Does the site provide information that
contradicts other sources?
•If the site is about a research study, are the
research methods explained?
•Was the information published
•Was the site updated recently?
•Does the information add to or support
•Does the site provide additional links
that are also useful?
•Does the site provide more or less
information than you need?
What site are we on?
What site are we on now?
Which is the official White House
Consider the following…
• What is the difference between information
found on the Web and in a reference library?
• Which questions in the checklist are the
most important when making research
• How will using a checklist to evaluate sites
make you a better researcher?
Want sites you can count on? Try
• Internet Public Library (ipl.org)
•Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com/)
•WebPath Express (Type your search term into Destiny,
our online catalog, and click the “Web Sites” tab)
•Or try any of our online databases! Visit the Media
Center’s home page, then click on “Online Databases.” Or
try this link: