What is true and what is not true. Abstract The internet has become more popular today than it has ever been. Technology makes it possible to get a lot of information in one place. Now the problem that this has is, how you can tell if it is true or not true. Checking facts against other facts, checking to see how credible the author is and checking to see if the website you get it from has a reputation. These are just a few ways to tell if what you are reading is fact or made up just so the person writing it can look good.
Accuracy, Purpose, Currency (Timeliness), Trustworthiness, Bias, Citations, Check summary, Expertise, comparison, Credentials, are a few ways of making sure the information you have is correct. Students no longer really need a library building. Students can now turn their computer on and find the same information. Whenever you find information online the first thing you can do is check to see if other websites have the same information. Compare them to each other and pick out the facts from none facts.
If you see several websites with the same information and said the same way you can than determine that it might be correct information. But you need to also check that it is not the same author making several website. When going to a website people need to check the credentials of the author. Usually the author who is credible will have a short bio to let people know a background of where they are expert at. This way you can figure out that maybe that author’s information is correct.
Author’s that have degree in certain areas and then give information on the web you can than believe what is said is true. If you still do not for sure you can always do a background check to verify the author’s expertise. If an author says he/she is affiliated with an organization then it would be wise to check with that organization to see if the author is really with them. A lot of people who write things online will say that they are with an organization or company to make their words true. Like the saying goes. ” If it is too good to be true it might be. Reading paragraphs in an article or blog can also give you clues as to the credibility of it. If it seems that the paragraphs are going nowhere or are not fitting well with each other. If you see this happening than it would be best that you move on from it and find another source to get the information that you require. You also need to check if the information for common mistakes, like grammar, and spelling because sometimes the information is taken from a larger page that was written and condensed to make it sound like they came up with the information.
Validity of the information can be checked by going to website that you know are credible and see if they give the same information, or is slightly different. Or going to places that are proven to be credible and check the information against that site. For example a student is gathering information about a specific disease, and goes to a blog someone wrote about it. To check if it is true go to a proven medical site with the same disease and see if the information provided in the blog is the same as the information given on the medical site. Coverage of the information needs to be in dept of all the details.
If the website is designed for a specific topic and then when you go to it you come to find out that maybe three or four lines have to do with the topic, you can than clearly make out that probably that is not a good site to gather information. The site has to cover the whole topic and not just a bit. It has to have relevant information on the topic they agreed to write about. To find out if the information is credible you need to check to see that the author did not just what he/she believes but what others may have to say on the topic. Having a biased author can give you security that what the author is telling you is credible.
You also need to take in consideration that if you are getting information about a topic that the author strongly feels about that you might not get the pros and cons but only the pros from that author. Another great way to find out if the information is credible is to compare the notes from online with information found offline. For example let’s say a student wanted to write about an author like Anne Rice. The student can go online and find lots of information but to see if any of it is true the student can go to a library and see if Anne Rice wrote an autobiography.
The book about Anne Rice would have all the detail and correct information since she herself wrote it. The table below is a great starter for anyone wanting to make sure if the information they are getting online is credible. (Metzger, Miriam J. , Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology; Nov2007, Vol. 58 Issue 13, p2078-2091, 14p, Table 1, Retrieved May 24, 2011). The student also needs to check to make sure that the website is updated enough to stay current on the topic.
Things change fast in society and information needs to be updated on a regular basis. If a website was build in 1995 and the year is 2011 and the last update was done 1997 than you can see that it might not be so credible. In conclusion it is up to the individual researching the information that the information is correct. Making sure the author is credible, the coverage is well documented, and it is updated. Keep in mind that not all things online is true and that it is the person seeking the information to make sure to get the right information.