Evaluating 
Information Sources

Edited 9/29/04 ADA
Microscope

Evaluating information includes 2 elements (1) Credibility of the source and (2) Usefulness of the information for your purpose. The links below provide information to enhance your information evaluation skills.
  1. "MEDIA LITERACY an individual's ability to read, analyze and evaluate the printed, auditory and visual information.  This outlines what it means to be "media literate". It was developed at SLO
  2. Information Competence: Evaluating Sources:  This site created at SLO "illustrates the importance of evaluating the information you find"
  3. Factors contributing to being "credible" These factors adapted from Robert P. and Dale Newman's book Evidence and presented on the SLO web site help us establish credibility.  
  4. Criteria to Evaluate Web Sources: Relevance, Timeliness, Reliability, Coverage, Accuracy (bias, purpose) Authority.   First try Introduction and pre exercises. Don't forget to change criteria relevant to your needs.** and minimize or ignore criteria not meaningful for your purposes.*  Try the end exercises to test your skills.
A Web evaluation checklist
And
Practice your web evaluation skills on these sites


**Keep in mind as you work through these when evaluating information that even these are not perfect or complete! Keep your critical thinking skills processing, enhance those most relevant to your needs and add additional criteria where needed for example (a) if you are a grade school teacher, is the site appropriate in language level for your students
* Ignore or minimize less important elements, Examples of this include  (a) "Is the Design of the Web Site Effective" may be of importance if you are selling or buying but has little importance in determining the validity of the information for a scientific report. Some professors sites may be very informative and useful for a paper but may pale beside professionally designed web sites