EVALUATING INTERNET SOURCES
In a world of information overload, it is vital for students to be able to find information on the Web, as well as to determine its validity and appropriateness. The information you find may vary in reliability and quality: it can be very useful and reliable, very bad or directly misleading. Keep in mind that everyone can publish information on the Internet. This means it is your job to evaluate the quality and reliability of what you find, and whether it fits your needs. A good way to start is to see if you can identify the following:
• author’s name
• author’s title or position
• author’s organizational affiliation
• date of page creation or version
• author’s contact information
The answer to almost any question is available if you know how to search. When searching think about what words might be on the page you seek; think about possible answers when posing the questions. Don’t stop with one search if you are learning about a topic. Regard search as a process of investigation. Look at the third, fourth and fifth pages of search results. Formulate new searches based on the terms you find in relevant snippets from previous searches. Understand that it is up to you to determine whether the result of your search is accurate, inaccurate or intentionally misleading. Start out skeptical, look for an author. And search on the author’s name. When you see braking news via social media, triangulate: try to find three sources to verify before passing along a rumor. be aware of filter bubbles and echo chambers. Question opinions you agree with and pay attention to sources you disagree with. Source: Net Smart by Howard Rheingold.
Useful places to start!
- NoodleQuest Search Strategies Wizard:
- Use “quotation marks” to ensure your keywords appear in your search results in the order you have specified
- How do you find the owner or publisher of a website? Go to www.easywhois.com and enter the URL of the site you would like to research.
- How do you find out who is linked to your school’s website? Go to Google: www.google.com and do a link: command search. In the search box type link:your school’s address.
- What clues in a Web address might indicate you are on a personal website? Look for a tilde “~” or the “%” sign or a personal name “jdoe” or the word “user” after the domain name and the first forward slash “/“
- How would you conduct a search for the following: a list of websites of all the academic institutions in South Africa? Go to Google: www.google.com and type site:ac.za in the search box
- How do you find the history of any given website? Use the Wayback Machine. Go to www.archive.org and type the URL of the website you would like to research into the search box.
- How would you conduct a search for the following: US higher education websites that contain the word Inuits . Go to Google: www.google.com and type “site:edu + Inuits” in the search box.
Source: November Leaning, Web Literacy
Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It
To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use
- another person’s idea, opinion, or theory;
- any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings—any pieces of information—that are not common knowledge;
- quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words; or
- paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words.
Source; Best colleges online.
Many problems in presenting assignments are related to the misuse of quotations from secondary sources (that is material presenting critical interpretations of primary texts). It is acceptable to refer to secondary material to gain knowledge or find different interpretations that may stimulate your own thinking and, sometimes, confirm ideas you already hold. Whether you quote your source directly or simply paraphrase the idea, you must always acknowledge the source you used.
Source: UTAS Library