The internet today contains plethora of information. Millions of web pages deal with anything we can think of. So, can we find everything online? How sure can we be that the information we find are accurate? The fact that they are published online can guarantee that they are also qualitative?
DEFINITELY NOT …
Nowadays, the online posting of an article is a simple case for everyone. There are web pages – blogs which give the freedom of speech to anyone interested. Also, the content of many web pages contains inaccuracies due to unawareness and not intentional misinformation.
So, when can we trust the content of a webpage? The main skill which we have to develop is assessment. Regardless of what we read, not only online, we must evaluate it before we trust it. We must assess it.
Which are the quality criteria of a webpage? Let’s see some…
The identity of the writer of the information we read is very important. Is he aware of the topic? Does he state the results of a survey or personal assumptions? It goes without saying that unsigned articles are unreliable. Who does this website belong to? Which are its aims? For example, a research of a mobile operator about the impact of electromagnetic radiation on health, which is presented on the website of the mobile operator may not be 100% accurate. When the information is displayed on the website of a research center or of a university, then it will probably be. In any case we must crosscheck this information with another source..
When was the information updated? Things may have changed since then. A typical characteristic of the quality of a website is its constant update.
It has to do mainly with the organization funding the website. If a website if filled with advertisements of one product, then it is likely that the information mentioned in an article about this product not to be impartial..
Which sources have been used for the text? The lack of sources (books, magazines, newspapers, research results through questionnaires of telephone, websites) consists a major criterion of source unreliability. The display of all information must be based on reliable sources which must be mentioned in detail so as to be easy for the reader to crosscheck them.
The modern web pages have internal mechanisms of self assessment by teams of experienced critics or give this right to visitors, that means to assess or review or both the articles in order to inform the next visitors of the information r