Web literacy is one of the most essential researching skills one needs. This skill is touched upon in our blogs about new media research skills when we discussed “crap detection”. Because of how now everyone has the ability to post just about whatever they choose on the web, its crucial for one to be able to differentiate a credible website from one that is not. Its easy to find information that is untrue or happens to be backed up by sources that have not been verified as a reliable source. To determine whether a web page has reliable information you need to determine its accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency and coverage.
You could check a websites accuracy by ensuring it gives you a legitimate author or has a credible institution the information was published from. Authority determines whether or not the document is legitimate, you can usually tell if the sight is reliable by the URL, if the domain is .com, .edu, .org. thats a is a sign that the information is coming from a reliable source. Objectivity uses the logic to determine if a web page actually has a clear objective or if its just a mask or advertising. Currency confirms if a website is up to date and current, things that help determine this is checking the date published as well as making sure the additional links are up-to-date. The last one is coverage which is if the information can be properly viewed with no extra fees, browser technology or software updates. If you keep in mind these 5 major criteria while researching you’ll have much better chances in finding sites that provide reliable information.