CIS250-EvaluatingWebsitesNotes - CIS 250 Class Notes...

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CIS 250 – Class Notes Evaluating Internet Resources With so much information available on the WWW, it is very important that you be able to distinguish what is “good” usable information and what is not. One of the benefits of the WWW is that there is a variety of information available, mainly due to the ease of posting material to a web site. Anyone can create and post their own web site. All that is required is a program to write a web page using HTML, which can be done through Microsoft Word, and available space on a web server. Most ISP accounts include a limited amount of space on the service provider’s web server. What that means is that anyone who has an account with an Internet Service Provider can post material to a web site. That does not make the information posted to that web site correct or of sufficient quality to be used as a reference in a research paper. Scholarly journals usually require a blind review process for every paper that is printed in their journal to ensure quality of the material – this is missing for data published on the web. We must be very careful to ensure that the material that we find to use off of the WWW is valid useful material. The problem becomes – How do we do that? Dr. Sauer, one of the librarians at the University of South Alabama has put together the following document on evaluating internet resources. Please read it carefully, and you will benefit from visiting some of the suggested web sites and completing some of the exercises that are suggested in this document. Thinking Critically About Information or How Can You Sort the Junk from the Good Stuff on the "Public" Internet--and Everywhere? If you learn nothing else in your undergraduate years, but you learn to sharpen your critical antennae and develop a healthy skepticism about all information in whatever format it is presented to you--on the television, in books, magazines, newspapers, even textbooks and academic journals, but especially information found on the Internet, only then will you be "information literate." Even bad information can sometimes be useful to make a point. Here are a few guidelines that might help you decide whether the information you need is the right kind of information for the papers you write or the speeches you give. Read through them carefully, then look at some linked sites on the Internet and see if you can figure out for yourself which might be useful and which ones are just junk!
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Using a search engine? "Make no mistake, the search engine companies are not in the business of creating relevant and accurate Web search results. Google is an advertising firm--they all are. Their business is the conversion of search traffic into advertising revenue. This conversion is improved if a search engine is more popular, but good search results are the bait, not the big catch. All search engine hit lists redirect users to advertisers' websites.
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2012 for the course CIS 250 taught by Professor Wright during the Spring '09 term at S. Alabama.

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CIS250-EvaluatingWebsitesNotes - CIS 250 Class Notes...

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