Internet & Evaluation

hopeacceptableSoftware and s/w Development

Oct 28, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Internet & Evaluation




Frederic Murray

Assistant Professor

MLIS, University of British Columbia

BA, Political Science, University of Iowa



Instructional Services Librarian

Al Harris Library

frederic.murray@swosu.edu


The Internet is…


a worldwide collection of computer
networks


ubiquitous






Web Searching is easy
because…..


Speed


Choice


Availability 24/7




Always get an answer


Web searching is difficult
because …


Organization


Quality control


Reliability

Anatomy of a URL

Web Evaluation Techniques


Domain name appropriate for the
content ?


Restricted: edu, gov, mil, a few
country codes (ca)


Unrestricted: com, org, net, most
country codes (us, uk)


Domain Names


Which one is right?


www.whitehouse.com


www.whitehouse.gov


www.whitehouse.net


www.whitehouse.org


Whois.net


www.whois.net



.gov


.org


.mil


.com


.edu


.net


.int


Indicates a reliable domain name

Web Evaluation Techniques


Published by an entity that makes
sense ?


News from its source?



www.nytimes.com


Advice from valid agency?



www.nih.gov/



www.nimh.nih.gov/


Remember to Evaluate!!!


Authority


Who created it? Who is responsible?


What credentials do they hold? What makes them
qualified to discuss the topic?


Accuracy


Can the information be verified?


Check the facts!


Objectivity


How is the information being presented?


Is it objective or biased? What’s the point of view?


Currency (important based on subject)


When was it published?


When was it last updated?


Step 1: Authority


Web Pages



Credentials/Qualifications/Reputation



Who is responsible for content?


Is it a commercial site?


Is it a government site?


Is it an education site?




Step 1: Authority: Questions

1. Who is responsible for the content?
Domain name? What does this indicate?

2.
If you don't recognize the name, or
there is no name, what type of
information is given about the contact
information?


-

Position?


-

Organizational affiliation?


-

E
-
mail address?


-

Biographical information?







Step 2:

Accuracy


Web Pages


Can the information be verified?


Links to credible sites


Copyright


Works Cited


Fact check with a printed source


Step 2:

Accuracy

1.
Does the website cite sources used to
present its information? What type of
sources are they? Scholarly? Popular?

2.

Is it possible to verify the legitimacy
of these sources?

3.
If the site is research
-
based, does the
website clearly identify the method of
research and the data gathered?


Step 3: Objectivity


Biased or Objective?


Sponsoring Organization


Agendas


Political Propaganda


Web hosting

http://english.aljazeera.net/News


http://www.foxnews.com/


http://www.npr.org/



Do you trust the author or organization providing the
information?


Step 3: Objectivity



Do you trust the author or organization providing
the information?


Determine what is the aim of the author or
organization publishing the site.


What is the purpose of the web site?


1. Is it advertisement for a product or service?

2. Is it for political purposes?

3. Is it trying to sway public opinion on a social issue?

Step 4:
Currency


Web Pages


When was it created and last updated?


Well maintained web sites have an indication
when it was last updated or modified


Accessibility


Dead links


Stability


Changes URLs frequently



Step 4:
Currency

1. Is a date clearly displayed?

2. Can you determine what the date refers to?



When the page was first written?



When the page was first posted on the

Internet?



When the page was last revised or updated?



The copyright date?

3. Are the resources used by the author current?

4. Does the page content demand routine or continual
updating or revision?

5. Do the links on the page point to the correct
Internet site addresses?


Remember to Evaluate!!!


Authority


Who created it? Who is responsible?


What credentials do they hold? What makes them
qualified to discuss the topic?


Accuracy


Can the information be verified?


Check the facts!


Objectivity


How is the information being presented?


Is it objective or biased? What’s the point of view?


Currency (important based on subject)


When was it published?


When was it last updated?


Web Evaluation Tools


Alexa


Search the URL in Alexa
--

www.alexa.com


Click on “Site info for …”



Who links to the site?


Who owns the domain?


What did the site look like in the past?


(use the
“Wayback Machine”
link)




Google Blog Search


Which blogs link to it? What do they say?


Exercise: Evaluation Handou
t



Institute for Historical Review


http://www.ihr.org/


Pinehearst Inc.


http://pinehearstresearch.com/index.shtml


Southern Poverty Law Center


http://splcenter.org/index.jsp



Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu


http://www.deloitte.com/


Harry Ransom Center


http://www.hrc.utexas.edu


American University for the Humanities


http://www.auh.edu/


Google


Larry Page & Sergey Brin/ Grad Students
1998



Mission: "to organize the world's information
and make it universally accessible and
useful.“





2007: 23 Billion dollar corporation

Google
:
Improve Your Searches

Site Specific Command


What it does: searches only specific domains


What to type: children's health

site:edu





children's health

site:gov

Web vs. Library Databases


Web


Good for current
events


Statistical Information


Pop Culture


Opinion


Information about
Organizations &
Groups


Need to Evaluate!


Library Databases


Research Based Books
& Articles


Full
-
text Resources


Authoritative & Peer
-
reviewed Materials


Information about
People & Cultures


Easier to Search


AND, OR, NOT


Specific Subjects

Google Scholar


Google Scholar provides a simple way
to search for scholarly literature.
Search across many disciplines and
sources: peer
-
reviewed papers, theses,
books, abstracts and articles, from
academic publishers, professional
societies, preprint repositories,
universities and other scholarly
organizations.


Google Scholar


Works best for Citations


Restrictions to Content


Fee
-
based



Often your Library already owns material



We’re working on improving access



Example: Tribal Colleges

Wikipedia

Wiki:
A Web application that allows users to add
content to a collaborative hypertext Web resource
(coauthoring), as in an Internet forum, and permits
others to edit that content (open editing).




Wikipedia


Jimmy Wales January 15, 2001


No Original Research


NPOV (Neutral point of view)


No owners, multiple anonymous
authors


Anyone with Internet access can create
or edit an entry…Anyone


Wikipedia


Contributors: male, English speaking,
denizens of the Internet.


Problem is not that it disregards the facts,
but that it elevates them above all else.


Most of the content is discussion/history of
edits & not the entries themselves.


Rosenzweig, Roy. “Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past.”
The
Journal of American History

93.1 (2006): 117
-
146
.


Wikipedia


Participation maps popular, not academic
concerns


It is a working community…but is it a good
historical resource?


Lack of Critical Analysis


Problematic as a sole source of information


Like all encyclopedias…ok to start, terrible
place to stop.


Benefits are to its active participants, not its
readers.

Writing Your Paper


Writing Center


Located in the basement of the library


Call for appointment #774
-
7083


MLA Style


Style Sheets


MLA Handbook at Reference & Circulation
Desk


http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/


Questions?


Contact me:



Frederic Murray


774
-
7113


frederic.murray@swosu.edu




Thanks!