Websites vs. DatabasesWebsites vs. Databases
Glenforest Secondary SchoolLibrary Resource Centre
Primary Source: M. Rosettis, St. Augustine
Evaluating Web SitesEvaluating Web Sites
not all information found on the World Wide Web is accurate and not all web sites, no
matter how attractive, are good.
Evaluating a web site is
an important activity because …
It’s … It’s … AAll ll AAbout bout OOngoing ngoing CCritical ritical CConcernoncern
Who wrote the page?Can you contact the author / webmaster?What is the purpose of the document?Is the author qualified to write this
Check for: e-mail address postal address or phone number
Know the difference: Author v.s. Webmaster
What are the author’s credentials?Where is the document published?Is there institutional affiliation?Check the URL domain for clues:
– .edu, .org, .gov, .com, .mil– .ca, .on, .au, .uk, etc. Example: http://tqjunior.www.thinkquest.org/4471
ObjectivityObjectivityWhat are the goals of the web site?
… to persuade
… to inform
… to entertain
… to sell
Are the goals met?
How detailed is the information?– too simple, just right, too complex?
What opinions are expressed?
Is the information free of bias?
Does the site promote advertising?
CurrencyCurrencyWhen was it produced?
– Look for copyright © information
When was the site last updated?
Do all the links function?
Is the information on the page outdated?
Is there a balance of text and images?
Do the links complement the web site’s theme?
Is the information cited correctly?
Is special software required to browse the web site?
Is there a cost to view the information?
Is the site organized well?
In Summary:In Summary:
If the site:lists the author and institution that
published the web page(s)provides a way to contact the authorlists the author’s credentialshas a preferred domain
(.edu, .gov, .org, .net)
In Summary:In Summary:
has limited advertisingis objective (unbiased) in
presenting informationIs current and is updated regularly
provides accurate information
In Summary:In Summary:
Can be viewed without limitations
Then your information source is most likely a reliable and valid one for your research.
Has operational and relevant links
Remember …Remember …
A A O C C
It’s All About Ongoing
M. Rosettis ~ 2001
Do these websites A A O C C?Do these websites A A O C C?
www.dowethics.com www.getoutraged.com www.whirledbank.org www.moonmovie.com/moonmovie/ www.malepregnancy.com www.sandman.com/telco.html www.dhmo.org www.whyfiles.org/020radiation/ www.kevdo.com/lipbalm/addict.html www.nidsci.org/
You may want to consider using a You may want to consider using a library database instead …library database instead …
What is a library database?
What is a library database?What is a library database?
A website that requires a paid subscription in order to access information.
Contains information from published works such as articles from magazines or encyclopedias.
Can be used to search for titles, authors, magazines, dates, etc.
Often give you access to full-text articles that can be printed or e-mailed.
Are selected by librarians to meet the needs of their library patrons.
How is a library database How is a library database different from a website?different from a website?
Library Databases Get their information from
professionals or experts in the field.
Contain published works where facts are checked.
Easy to cite in a bibliography and may create the citation for you
Help you narrow down your topic or suggest related subjects.
Updated frequently and include the date of publication.
Available to anyone using a computer in a library that subscribes to databases or any library cardholder using a computer outside the library.
Websites Can be written by anyone
regardless of expertise. Content is not necessarily checked
by anyone, expert or not. Don't provide the information
necessary to create a complete citation.
Aren't often organized to support student research needs.
May not contain current information or indicate when a page is updated.
Available to anyone with an internet connection inside or outside the library.
What databases are available on What databases are available on www.glenforestlibrary.comwww.glenforestlibrary.com
TumbleReadables Global Issues in Context BigChalk (elibrary, History Study Centre, Proquest
Literature) CultureGrams Statistics Canada Ebsco Canadiana Encyclopedia Encyclopedia Britannica Encarta Infotrac Science Research Centre
Always remember …Always remember …
A good resource does not hide its identity from the user.
Good luck with your research!