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Evaluating Resources for EDUC 500

Why is it important to evaluate web resources

How Selective is the Web?



Web Pages

 Editors review and select; the process can be long involving many rewrites Editors review and select; articles can go through several rewrites No one/Everyone is "in charge"
Publishers try to maintain reputations for quality Publishers try to maintain reputations for quality Anyone can create and "publish" anything; there are no standards
Libraries select based on reviews (written by experts) Scholarly journals select articles based on peer review Search engines are not selective on the basis of quality
Libraries select based on publishers' reputations Periodical indexes select journals based on quality Only subject indexes select sites based on quality


  • The information found in resources (whether in paper or electronically based) is only as reliable as the scrutiny (i.e. editorial review) it receives from editors/experts before publication.
  • Books and articles are generally subject to this review and are therefore usually more reliable reference sources.
  • Books and journals are selected by librarians for quality.
  • Web sites are not subject to any review/selection process and should be treated critically by the user.
    It is important to remember that there is no oversight committee, organization, or company that looks at or verifies the truth, reliability, validity, currency, or quality of the information put on to the Web.  

Most Internet users expect to find reliable health care information on the Internet.  If they treat everything they find uncritically, misinformation on the Internet can be a matter of life and death.   

It's best to consult professionals for medical and legal advice. If you look for such information online, make sure that the author of the website has the necessary credentials to give you accurate information (a medical or law degree), and that that person is licensed to practice in your state.

As with any other information, use your common sense.  Don't follow advice that you question; get a second opinion from a professional.  If something sounds odd or wrong, it probably is.

For example, The Doctors' Medical Library at (link below) states that injecting hydrogen peroxide can reduce cholesterol and generally serve an antibiotic function.  Injecting hydrogen peroxide is actually a very dangerous thing to do.