Web Site: Information Credibility Answers

Some help with your evaluations (edited 11/06/06 ADA)

TipsEvalInfoWeb.html: For tips on using the web to evaluate information. Web Evaluation Criteria for criteria for evaluation.

1. (1)-
http://www.martinlutherking.org/
This site appears at first to be "Historical Writings" and a biographical "tribute" to Dr. King.  On closer examination we find the real purpose of this page is to discredit Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement. If you read the material on the page the bias becomes clear.  Chase down the source and you will find http://www.stormfront.org/ email address is a white supremacist organization. For those with knowledge the web page is controlled by David Duke a known leader of the KKK.  His name was well known 10-20 years ago but he hasn't made the news in recent years since he was in jail.  See if you can find information about David Duke and the organization connected to this page, evaluate this page in terms of the Web Evaluation Criteria

2. (2)-
http://www.ibiblio.org/team/history/controversy/abutz/intro.html
Looks good was formally from an academic institution [http://pubweb.acns.nwu.edu/~abutz/di/intro.html].  The author Professor Arthur R. Butz, I believe has now retired so the document is no longer available on the Northwestern University site.  The reality is this is an article from an engineering professor not a history professor.  The author would have little credibility in this area. Other sites indicate the widespread disagreement with Dr. Butz views. The president of Northwestern University one time had a web page explaining the University's position but it doesn't seem to be there anymore. A recent comment in the school newspaper has some comments. The web site Teaching Zack To Think provides an analysis and links treating a high school student's (lack of knowledge and inexperienced) experience with this site.

3. (4)-
http://www.steves-digicams.com/default.htm
This is an online source designed to help potential buyers of digital cameras make a decision. Is this a credible source?  Why or why not? Look for possible conflicts of interest, how is this site funded? Does there appear to be a bias in the ranks of products and sources.  Evaluate in terms of the Web Evaluation Criteria

4. (8)-
Evaluate the following as a group:

http://www.dhmo.org/ A Con position on the availability of DHMO. What about the credibility for this page.
http://www.armory.com/~crisper/DHMO/ A proponent of DHMO
          DHMO is a double hydrogen and a single oxygen molecule commonly known as H2O or water! A knowledgeable person might have recognized this spoof, an inside joke. Use the Web Evaluation Criteria and see if someone not aware of this might determine the true nature of the sites.

5. (9)-
http://www.sree.net/stories/feline.html A study of cats reactions to bearded men.  In reality a spoof. Check this link for further hoaxes:  http://www.sree.net/tips/hoax.html

6. (12)--/-
http://www.fda.gov/ Would this be a legitimate site for a term paper? Compare this with site  http://www.dhmo.org/.  Evaluate each site and explain
The FDA site looks good to me. You always have to some extent be a skeptic even for government sites since politics can effect the content and interpretation as indicated by the revelations1 revelations2 about the FDA.  In general we would accept the information on government sites. Evaluate in terms of the Web Evaluation Criteria

7. (16)-
http://www.npr.org/
NPR, National Public Radio.  A generally accepted credible source.  Many of their programs offer sources that can be verified.  For academic papers it is best to go to the original sources, don't just report the NPR program.  Remember like all media sources there are biases on the part of the source so be aware of the biases when evaluating the information. Evaluate in terms of the Web Evaluation Criteria

8. (18)-
http://www.consumerreports.org/
The web site of Consumers Reports.  Evaluate just like you would the magazine. Consumer Reports  is a very credible source for evaluations for consumers.  Dispute the appearance of what looks like advertisements, the only real advertisements are for the magazine and related items. Consumer Reports is a non profit. Check their about us statement for specifics. Just like other mass media what are the biases and does it effect the information.  I am a long time subscriber of  Consumer Reports and I also have a fixer upper house.  I know one of their biases is safety (cars, appliances, etc.) so when I look for a paint remover I will frequently accept their unacceptable.  The paint remover was the most effective and efficient at removing but was considered unsafe.  I believe I can work with the product and my interest is in the most effective paint removerwith which I think I can safely work. There are other biases some would consider liberal or progressive.  Determine the usefulness for yourself. Evaluate in terms of the Web Evaluation Criteria

9. (19)--
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
 Online Encyclopedia"Anyone with access to an Internet-connected computer can edit, correct, or improve information throughout the encyclopedia, simply by clicking the edit this page link  Other views on wikipedia's credibility http://www.intuitive.com/blog/what_wikipedia_lost_credibility.html.   Another view  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Credibility, http://www.jasonunger.com/2006/07/10/the-irony-reuters-slams-wikipedias-credibility-issues-own-correction/, and for one last evaluation http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6051103.

10. (23)--
http://www.kbb.com/

Kelly Blue Book
.  A credible up to date resource used by buyers, sellers and insurence companys for determining car values. This is also available in print.  Was at one time the primary source for car value.

http://www.carfax.com/
"Order a CARFAX Vehicle History Report... the first step to protecting yourself against buying used cars with costly hidden problems."  This site is credible. It deliveres for a price (don't remember the exact $) the history of a car from records held by the DMV.  My 1991 Toyota truck shows it was totaled and returned to use later.  Of course no information is available on items that did not go through official records.  There is a good estimate on milage accuracy based on smog records.  I would not buy a car without otaining the cargfax info about it.

Books- Use your web and Critical Thinking skills to evalaute the following:


11. (27)-

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right by Al Franken
Be weary of the content in books like these.  These are partisan books supporting a political position.  The facts may be accurate or inaccurate.  Information may be quite useful if you can find another source. Al Frankin's book lists sources so you can check them out.  You should not rely on the book alone as an academic resource except in writing a paper discussing these types of books.


Godless: The Church of Liberalism
Godless: The Church of Liberalism by Ann Coulter.  Same evaluation as above but not much on references so difficult to valadite information.   You should not rely on the book alone as an academic resource except in writing a paper discussing these types of books.