Provide empirical evidence to support the website as a credible source for inclusion in a scholarly assignment.. Selects a health-related website with the domain indicated as .org or .gov.
2. Introduction section includes 6 elements:
Evaluating a Website for Credibility Guidelines
a) identify and evaluate a website for credibility
b) provide empirical evidence to support the website as a credible source for inclusion in a scholarly assignment, and
c) present ideas in a clear, succinct, and scholarly manner
1. Selects a health-related website with the domain indicated as .org or .gov.
2. Introduction section includes 6 elements:
a. clearly names the website
b. describes the purpose of the website
c. The search engine used to locate the website is named. You may use EBSCO host, Pubmed, Proquest, OVID, Brittanica online, CREDO reference or Faulkner
d. The domain of the website is identified.
e. The rationale for the selection of the website is discussed.
f. The Web Address, also known as the URL or uniform resource locator, is provided. This typically begins with “http://…”
3. Provides a thorough analysis of the website, using the following five criteria: authority, information, objectivity, ease of navigation, and privacy and security policies.
When evaluating a website for authority, determine if the author is qualified as an expert in the subject matter. The authority of the author may be associated with the source. For example, when an article is published in a scholarly research journal, you can be reasonably assured that it has undergone extensive review by subject matter experts; this is known as peer review. The information found on the Internet could range from peer-reviewed from a credible source to merely someone’s opinion; therefore, it is important to determine if the site lists the credentials of the author of the information. If so, then ask yourself if the author is an expert in the field who is qualified to provide the information. Does the website provide contact information for the author (Anderson & Klemm, 2008)?
In addition to evaluating a website for authority, a search should be done for accuracy, currency, readability, and comprehensiveness of the information. As stated previously, anyone can publish information on the Internet. Is the information updated frequently? Is the information accurate and appropriate for the intended audience? Be cautious about using sources written for the general public; these sources will be inappropriate for a scholarly paper. Does the author provide a comprehensive review of the topic or is the information biased (Hebda & Czar,2014; Anderson & Klemm, 2008; Thede & Sewell, 2010)?
One purpose of reviewing the domain of the website is to assist in determining if the information is objective and/or biased. One way to determine bias or objectivity is to determine who sponsors the website; will the source of funding have an impact on the information provided? Is it a reliable source, such as a governmental agency, or is it a commercial site (indicated by “.com” in the URL) that is providing information with the intention of selling the reader a product (Anderson & Klemm, 2008)?
Ease of Navigation
Navigation of a website—also known as user friendliness—refers to evaluating the functionality of the site. Can the information be accessed directly or must a scavenger hunt be done to locate the information? Do the website and graphics load quickly? Are the links functioning? Does the website take into account those who may not have access to a high-speed connection (Anderson & Klemm, 2008; Thede & Sewell, 2010)?
Privacy and Security
How will the information be used?
Will the information be shared with a third party?
Will your name be placed on a listserv?
Once this is determined, provide information ONLY when you feel comfortable sharing personal contact information with that site (Hebda & Czar, 2009; Anderson & Klemm, 2008; Thede & Sewell, 2010).
4. Determines if the website is credible, provides a rationale for decision, and supports the decision with empirical evidence. The empirical evidence is to be a minimum of two (2) scholarly articles published within the last 5 years.
A source is scholarly when it comes from a professional, peer-reviewed publication (e.g., a journal or a government report such as
from the FDA or CDC); contains references for sources cited, so you can find the original source of information; is written by a professional or scholar in the field and indicates credentials of the author(s); and is no more than 5 years old; however, consult with your instructor regarding the appropriate age of
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