Assessing and Validating Information Found on the Internet
©2000 Melissa Kaplan
Finding information on the Internet is only one part of your research: assessing the quality and timeliness of that information is the other. Not only can it be a waste of time to read through a site and implement the information and suggestions found there, only to later find that they were inaccurate, but such sites may pose a health or safety problem if that information directly affects your health and safety or that of your family, pets, employees, co-workers, or clients.
Personal Assessment Framework
Ultimately, you will probably develop your own assessment framework to use when assessing sites. The framework might include some or all of the following assessment categories:
Does the color scheme make it difficult to impossible for those with color-deficient vision impairments, or who have trouble discriminating certain color combinations to read the information at the site (examples of problematic text/backgrounds: dark gray on black, yellow on white, red on green)?
Things that keep me from revisiting sites, or even waiting for them to finish loading, are those that seem to use the latest gizmos just because they grabbed the code or designed something with it, busy backgrounds, excessive use of bars, banners, animated or things, tons of webrings, poorly organized content, rampant misspellings, links that haven't been updated in years, and the use of really tiny print and poorly contrasted text and background.
Generally Applies to All Types of Information Resources
Student's Guide to Research with the WWW
Health Care-Related Assessment
Additional sites may be found through:
Web Wisdom: How to
Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web
Student Learning in
the Information Age
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