Explore BrainMass

Credible and Non Credible Sources?

How can you determine the credibility of a source located on line? I read in my course material somewhere, but I can't remember where in my weekly reading, that if there is an author and institution and can be clearly identified, it is a reputable source (E.g., from an educational institution? Professional Organization etc.)

Solution Preview


According to Tate and Alexander (2004), the following criteria can be USED in assessing an online source, and any website that lacks one r more of these is questionable.

1. Authorship. Never use a source that author you cannot identify.
2. Publishing Body/Publisher. Is the publisher included and is it reprutuable?
3. Currency. Is the date created or revised included?
4. Perspectives. Site should have clearly stated goals.
5. Coverage. The topic should be in-depth from authors who are experts on the topic.
6. Accuracy or Verifiability. Is the material comparable to related sources?

The authors expand on each of these criteria in the excerpt below:


1. Authorship

Is the author identifiable? Never use a source whose author you cannot identify. If the author is not clearly listed within the site, use the following techniques to locate the author's name:

o link back to the site's home page;
o ask the Web development team or sponsoring organization to identify the author.

?Is the author a professional in the field?
?If the author's name is unfamiliar, is the site linked to an established authority on the subject?
?Has this author been referred to favorably by respected professionals in the field or by a respectable Web site? Does the document contain links to these professionals or to the respected Web sites? Are there also links from these sources that go back to the site you're assessing?
?Does it include his/her e-mail address or a mail-to: so that you can contact the author directly from the site?
?Does the author include a way to contact him/her other than ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines the criteria to determine the credibility of a source located on-line.