Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

a library newsletter, a compendium of interesting tidbits, a communication tool....from Bailey Library @ Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. (Site Feed)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Continuing Adventures of ResearchGrrl: ???

As a college student, you are already expected to be a master of certain aspects of the web. Namely the fun stuff that the fogies just don't "get" like facebook, myspace, youtube, etc.

Yet sometimes it's truly challenging to use the Web for the purpose of good, especially when you are trying to find some informational websites to cite in your paper.Now, the Internet has great power but not so much responsibility with what it chooses to make available for public view and use.

This is why it is imperative that you evaluate websites on your own and not trust that it's reliable information automatically. There are some important things that you should keep in mind before you go and google something.

Now I'm just about as blind as any other student in trying to judge the worth of a webpage, so Melba Tomeo of Bailey provided me with some insight here. She uses the mnemonic device C.R. A. A.P. to evaluate websites and discover if they really are crap.

C is for currency. How old is the article? Articles that are more recent are also more up-to-date.

R is for reliability. Is the page well maintained or do links and images not work? Pages that are in good shape are better to use generally.

A is for authority. Does the author have credentials to back up their opinions? Anyone can make a webpage but not everyone can post information that is worthwhile and true.

A is also for accuracy. Does the page make outlandish claims? When you look elsewhere, can you find similar information? (Another hint is to not use a page that has obvious flaws in spelling or explanations.)

P is for perspective. Does the article seem biased? Is the author trying to "sell you" anything? If it seems like a product placement, it is.

With these things in mind, it's usually pretty smooth sailing to find websites. My final tip for this is to look at website suffixes. .Org, .gov, and .edu are usually good bets but not all .com's are evil!

Happy trails amigos and keep reading the Continuing Adventures of ResearchGrrl!

Check out my myspace!

Coming soon- "Those are my words, someone else just wrote them first!" and the Mystery of Turnitin


Blogger Melba Tomeo said...

Good to see you left the penguin at home today, ResearchGrrl, and you are sporting a happy, warm weather look!

4:19 PM  
Blogger Leigh Forbes said...

This is a really timely post. I just covered this topic with my classes on Wednesday. We did a neat activity on researching Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to demonstrate the importance of evaluating resources. It really drove the point home! I'm glad you posted on the same topic so I'm not the only one singing this song :)

11:13 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home