Online resources are often used when researching, but one should be careful in evaluating the information provided.
Below are some criteria to consider before including information from an online source in your research.
- Is it clear who is responsible for the pages (a person, organization, corporation, etc.)?
- What are the author's qualifications for writing about this subject? Consider education, experience, title, etc.
- Is the information free of grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors? These kinds of errors indicate a lack of quality control.
- Can you verify the information in another source? Is this information cited by others?
- Are any biases clearly stated? Is their any incentive for bias (e.g., one political party writing about the opposing political party)?
- Is there advertising on the page? If so, is it clearly differentiated from the informational content?
- When was the page written or revised?
- Are there any other indications that the material is updated?
- Does it give too little or too much information?
- Is it clear the page has been completed, or is it still under construction?