Weighing Information for Its Worth

A closeup photo of the waters flooding over the brim at Niagara Falls.

Updated November 2010
A legacy resource from NICHCY

The CPIR’s resource pages are designed to put you in quick contact with information that’s readily available on the Internet. But if you’ve traveled the web searching for information, you’ve probably already discovered that sometimes it’s like being hit by a tidal wave. How do you weigh what you’re seeing?

This page takes up that very real concern. As we rely more and more on the Internet for information, and as we seek to base our decisions upon research evidence, it’s important to consider the information, and its source, through the lens of a cautious consumer. But how do we do that? The resources listed below will hopefully shed light on the “how” of weighing information, as well as the “why.”

Finding Information

Where can you find research information?
Here’s a quick list to jog your thinking, part of Monroe Community College’s online guide to help students prepare research papers.

Research guides & bibliographies.
From the University of Southern California.

Think about biases in point of view–both yours and the info’s.

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Can You Trust Information from that Book or Journal?

Evaluate information for its authority and appropriateness for your research.
From the library at UC Berkeley.

How to critically analyze information sources.
From the Cornell University Library.

Tips for evaluating the trustworthiness of a research study.
From the Oulu University Library.

Assessing the methodological quality of published papers.

Is this a scholarly journal or some other kind of publication?
From the Cornell University Library.

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Can You Trust Information from that Web Site?

Find out who owns the site–is it who it seems to be?
The WHOIS public database displays a domain name holder’s contact information.

Tips for evaluating the quality and reliability of Internet resources.

More tips–techniques to apply & questions to ask.
From the library at UC Berkeley.

On being a savvy consumer of Web sites.
From Discovery Education.

Help with evaluating and selecting resources.
More from Monroe Community College to guide users of research.

How to evaluate the trustworthiness of a website.

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Resource Tools

Print and use this website checklist.
From the library at UC Berkeley.

Glossary of Internet and website jargon.
From UC Berkeley.

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You can use this page in combination with the other offerings in our collection of pages designed to make sense of research. At the moment, we offer these basic introductions:

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