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InfoSkills3: Evaluating Resources

What are webpages good for?

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   Webpages are good for...

 

  • government and official information, reports and statistics 

  • information from educational institutions and not for profit organisations 

  • access to latest news information and current events

What makes a web page credible?

Use the CRAAP checklist! Information from the web has to meet a higher standard before you use it in an assignment. Why? It is very easy to put information on the web. Information is not always verified or subject to any kind of peer review process.

This short video looks at evaluating web pages using the CRAAP test.

 

What kind of website is it?

There are many different types of websites: government, educational, non-profit, commercial, personal. The URL of the website may contain useful clues.

Looking at the domain of the website can give you a good idea of its focus. For example, a commercial website is likely to be focused on selling a product, while a website from an educational institution is likely to be focused on providing information.

Different countries follow different patterns for domain codes. Australia follows the American pattern while New Zealand follows the British pattern. America is the only country without a country domain (although it can and sometimes does use .us).

 

Common domains  
.edu / .ac educational institutions
.gov / .govt government departments
.org organisations
.com / .co commercial body, company, personal websites
.net networks, personal websites
Country domains  
.au Australia
.uk United Kingdom
.ca Canada
.nz New Zealand

 

Wikipedia

What is Wikipedia? A free online encyclopedia containing millions of articles. Anyone can write and edit the articles. As a result you can never be sure that the information is correct, up to date or without bias.

Can I use information from Wikipedia in my assignments?

Many lecturers are opposed to students using Wikipedia and will mark down assignments which cite Wikipedia.

But, Wikipedia can help with your assignment research in different ways:

  • Background research – useful introduction and general overview of a subject, often defines new or important terms, names and concepts
  • References – even if you cannot cite the actual Wikipedia article, check out the sources referenced at the bottom of the page. Some of these are to highly credible sources such as peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles.
  • Relevant keywords - and search terms on your subject area. A good Wikipedia article will identify the main players and terms associated with a subject. Use these as search terms when you search JCU databases for scholarly articles.
     

Fake news

It can sometimes be confusing to sort out fact from fiction when evaluating news websites. This short video introduces different types of fake news.

To learn more about how to identify fake news have a look at the News makers/news fakers guide.

 

 

InfoSkills Toolkit

To keep going through the InfoSkills Toolkit, you can jump to:

Toolkit Home | Defining Your Topic | Searching for Resources | Evaluating Resources | Referencing

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