Running Head: CREDIBILITY PAPER Information Credibility on the Internet University of Phoenix CMGTT530 April 17, 2010 Introduction The Internet was designed for the exchange of unrestricted information. When considering the Internet, one distinct feature pertaining to the flow of online information must be understood; unlike traditional media, the Internet has no government or ethical regulations controlling the majority of its available content (Eastin, 2001). When evaluating a web site you have to ask yourself what is it that you’re trying to find or looking for.
Whether looking for facts, opinions, statistics, or reports, this will guide you in the process of evaluating the credibility of the page. In this paper, the author will discuss ten ways to determine information credibility on the Internet and why it is important to evaluate this information. Credibility Credibility is the objective and subjective component of the believability of a source or message. Credibility has two components, which consist of trustworthy, and expertise. They are subjective and objective ingredients for a source of a document. A credible person is an expert, experienced and is reliable in their subject matter.
To be trustworthy is to be honest and fair. Expertise is having experience, knowledge and competence in the area (Standler, Ronald) There are several tests you can apply to a source to help you judge how credible and useful it will be: Authorship An author is someone who has made contributions to a study or a published work. They usually meet certain criteria, such as substantial participation in the design of the study, drafting, and editing of the manuscript as well as giving the final approval. The authors should be knowledgeable in their subject.
They are usually well known with credentials. They’re biographical Information should also be available. Their work should have also been reviewed or verified. What motivated the author in that subject? Links to and from resources All documents or messages should have resource links to and from resources. This is another way to check the credibility of the author, and the information contained in the document or publication. These links to resources are other avenues to check the credibility of the information posted. There must be stated resources of where the information came from.
These recourses should be up to date and should also continue to be revised or updated. Publisher The publisher of the document should be available to the reader. They should produce respectful information. The name of the publishing company should be available and reliable. Are they members of any associations in their field of study? Date of Publication/Currency The date should be clear, current and the information up to date. The author must use current and information not static. Updating the information should occur frequently and should be documented. Domain Types The Internet sites ending with Gov, edu. Mil, org. nd net are usually credible sites and you would be able to determine where the information came from, such as: • . gov is a U. S. government site • . mil is a military site • . edu is an accredited post secondary educational site. • . com is a commercial, for-profit entity • . org is a noncommercial, not-for-profit entity • . net is a computer network • . int is an international organization, and • . jp, . ru, . ca are all country identifiers (Greer, Holinga, Kindel & Netzik, n. d. ) But not all sites are credibility. It is up to the desecration of the reader. The age and credibility determine search engine placement.
Usually a person has owned the web page for several years. In order to have web credibility you need a professionally designed web page. Site format/Design The web page should look professional and easy to read. The reader should be able to maneuver around with ease and the ability to find content. The web page should contain information about the subject that it is intended for. It should also be interesting to look at. If it has sound or video they should also be associated with the content. Purpose What is the purpose a reader that is visiting the site? The information should be apparent to the reader and stated clearly.
The author should be affiliated with a professional association that the subject is regards to. Accuracy The web page should be reliable with error free information. If there is any doubt about the content you should be able to check the information against a reliable source such as bibliographies, references, or links to resources that are made available. Writing Style The text should be well written without grammar and spelling errors. It should not contain any sarcasm or insulting comments in the text. Is it factual or bias? Know what target audience you are trying to attract. Peer Review
Someone of equal standing usually completes the peer review. The process consists of reviewing the elements and past events or facts relating to the work. Reviews are categorizes by the profession in which the subject is written. There are several kinds of reviews. Examples being Clinical Reviews, Physician Reviews, and Scientific reviews just to name a few. Conclusion When considering the Internet, one distinct feature pertaining to the flow of online information must be understood; unlike traditional media, the Internet has no government or ethical regulations controlling the majority of its available content.
Evaluation of the credibility on the Internet takes time and experience to become proficient in selecting sources. Using the ten tools listed, such as determining credibility, looking at authorship, reviewing the links to and from resources, publisher, checking domain types, and peer reviews, just to mention a few, can help guide a person in the process of checking out whether or not a source is credible on the Internet. References Eastin, M. , S. (2001). Credibility Assessments of Online Health Information: The Effects of Source Expertise and Knowledge of Content.
Retrieved April 18, 2010 from http://jcmc. indiana. edu/vol6/issue4/eastin. html. Greer, T. , Holinga, D. , Kindel, C. & Netzik, M. (n. d. ). An Educators’ Guide to Credibility and Web Evaluation. Retrieved April 18, 2010 from http://www2. csusm. edu/ilast/webevalart. htm. Standler, Ronald (2009). Evaluating Credibility of Information on the Internet. Retrieved April 17, 2010 from www. rbs0. com Smith, Ted (2009). Critical Evaluation of Information Sources. Retrieved April 17,2010 from [email protected] edu