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Nursing: Web Research

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Evaluating web resources

Find an interesting website using Google or another browser? Not sure if you can use it for academic research? It is not always easy to determine if information on the World Wide Web is credible. However, the guidelines below will help you understand clues about the reliability of web resources.

 Authority      

  • Who is the author of this page?
  • What are their credentials?
  • Are they affiliated with an institution?
  • Does the site display this information?

Objectivity    

  • What is the purpose of this page?
  • Does the author state the goals for this site?
  • Does the content inform, educate, persuade, or rant?
  • If the author is affiliated with an institution (government, university, business, etc.), does this affiliation bias the information presented?

 Accuracy      

  • Does the site have page sloppy layout, include misspellings or typos?
  • It's always a good idea to cross-reference information no matter where you find it.
  • Do graphics add or detract from the content? Is there inflammatory content?
  • Is the information complete or fragmented?

 Currency      

  • When was this page created?  Is there a revision/creation date?
  • Do the links work?
  • Is the page maintained and up-to-date?

For more in-depth information on evaluating websites, see: Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask from UC Berkeley - Teaching Library Internet Workshops

 

 

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