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Research Methods in the Health Sciences: Evaluating Internet Sources

This online guide will show you where and how to locate resources for your BIOL8823 research project assignment

CURRENCY

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised/updated?
  • Do the links work?
  • What do you need: newest information or older sources?
  • Is there a copyright date or range?

ACCURACY

  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed by experts in the field?
  • Can you verify the information in another source?
  • Is there evidence of bias?
  • Is the information presented in a professional manner?  Are there spelling or grammar errors?

RELEVANCE

  • How well does the information relate to your topic or question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Can you understand the information?
  • Is this the best source for your information need?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources?

PURPOSE

  • Is the purpose of the information to educate, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Are the intentions of the authors or sponsors clearly stated? (Look at a website's "About" page)
  • Is the information presented as fact, opinion, or propaganda?
  • Is the point of view objective and impartial?
  • Is there evidence of political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

AUTHORITY

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?  (Look at the "About" page)
  • Does the author have educational or organizational credentials?
  • Is the the author qualified to write on this topic?
  • Is contact information for the author available?
  • What does the url tell you about the source?