Sunday, February 10, 2013

ABC's of Information Evaluation

The internet has become the go-to place when one has an information need.  Whether a student or just the everyday Joe, the internet is probably the first line of inquiry.  According to Statistic Brain, Google averaged 4.7 billion searches per day in 2011.  It is crucial to understand how to evaluate the information found before using it as a resource.  While there is more to becoming competent in digital literacy, you can perform a quick mental check of the information using these three assessments.

A = Authority
Can you identify the author?  What are the author's qualifications?  Are they knowledgeable about the subject?  Is the contact information for the author included?  As a matter of personal integrity, you want to make sure the source is reliable and accurate before passing it along.  Realize that everything on the internet is not true.  I love this commercial - it cracks me up!!

B = Bias
Is it written with an agenda?  Is it meant to persuade you or sell you something?  Bias isn't necessarily a bad thing, we all have differing opinions, but if it is more than just presenting a different view be leary.  Take a look around the site, is it full of advertising?  Learn to identify embedded meanings.

C = Currency
When was it written?  When is the last time the website was updated?  Does your topic require current information or is dated information okay?

Performing these three assessments to evaluate information will enhance your research skills and put you on the road to becoming competent in digital literacy.

Further reading:
  1. RADCAB: A mnemonic acronym for information evaluation - Created by Karen M. Christensson, M.S. Library Media Education -
  2. Digital Literacy (Wikipedia) -
  3. Digital Literacy (Cornell University) -

No comments:

Post a Comment