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Music Research

Evaluating Internet sources

  • There is some great information on the Internet
  • You need to be even more careful about evaluating it
  • Much of the information on the Internet is not subject to even the most basic and cursory form of review
  • You can use many of the same criteria that you use for evaluating print sources
  • There are, however, a few extra wrinkles

  • Author’s credentials
    • The author’s identity can be difficult to determine but if it is impossible to find out, then be suspicious
  •  Publisher
    • Much of the information on the Internet is not formally published – look for a sponsoring organization
  • Currency
    • This can be very difficult to determine
    • Be skeptical of dates that indicate the page was created today
  • References
    • References to Web pages tend to come from other Web pages
    • This is what the Google search and relevancy algorithms are based on
    • In that case, you need to bear in mind the reliability of the referring page
  • Reviews
    • These can be harder to find, but they do exist
    • Credible blogs can also be very helpful in assessing Web sites