Given the high amount of information available on the Internet, it is easy to collect a multitude of sources of information on a given subject and assume that it is appropriate, credible and up-to-date information. However, this may not be the case, so it is important to evaluate the information accessed, either on paper or on digital media, in a critical way.
Elements to take into account when evaluating information:
- Authorship and responsibility: Who is the author? Who is the editor? Author's Credentials? Who is the organization responsible for the website? Are there contacts?
- Content and scope: Content appropriate to the theme, objectives of the work?
- Rigor and objectivity: Is information clear ?
- Update: what is the date of the text? Is the webpage recent?
Elements to take into account in the evaluation of journals:
- Summary: read to know if the subject is indeed relevant to the study ...
- Date: check the date of publication with the dates of the references, to set the currency of the information presented.
- Citations: It is important to know if a particular article is referred by other authors (cited). If you have to read a large number of articles it may be useful to start by reading the ones that were most cited, but beware both the Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar provide the number of citations for an article, but in some cases there are quotations because the answers where negative.
- Quality of information: One way of limiting research is to search peer-reviewed articles or journals. All publications included in the Web of Science or Scopus belong to this area.
- Objectivity and rigor: Are the arguments provided by the author consistent?
- Accuracy: Did you encounter factual errors that put into question the quality of the investigation? Can you check the accuracy of the information by comparing it with 2 reliable resources