Credibility of Websites
The trustworthiness of information obtained from the Internet needs to be evaluated because there is so much variability in quality (Hoss & Hanson, 2008). ONS recommends assessing three criteria for evaluation:
Credibility of authority - evaluate the qualifications of professionals giving advice or submitting information on all websites. Many websites have a link called "About Us." This link usually leads to a description of the qualifications of information providers. If contact information is provided, this can be helpful.
Clear communication about website sponsorship - disclosure of funding sources should be clear to users; also, contact information should be easy to find when technical assistance is needed.
Privacy of data collected - any information requested by users should be secured by a privacy statement.
- Another important piece of information is the recency of the last date a site was updated. A site that is not current may not be a good source of information. Also, as users read the evidence on a website, they should find justifiable claims that are supported by balanced evidence (Gilmour, Scott, & Huntington, 2008; Clark & Gomez, 2001; Mehta & Jain, 2001).
Continue to Step 3.4 - Critiquing Abstracts