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These days there is so much informationonline.
Is it useful though?
It depends on how much time you have
to sift through the results!
What is “fake news” and is there much onthe
How to decide
what is reliable?
(Reference to the US election campaign: 2016)
NB: This news report is considered to quote a substantially underestimated volume of fake news on social media
(Batchelor, O 2017, ‘Getting out the truth’, Reference Services Review, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 143-148.
HOW TO CHECK?
IS IT A FAKE NEWS STORY?
An Australian, independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and
RMIT ABC Fact Check
Reports on the accuracy of claims made by people engaged in the public debate, including
politicians, advocacy groups and public figures.
This website determines the accuracy of international stories in popular culture including
urban legends and internet and emailhoaxes.
Wikipedia list of fake news websites
A comprehensive list of fact checking websites
Source: International Federation of Library Associations
With misinformation becoming common …
… how to find reliable academic information?
The Internet still has
You just have to know what you’re lookingat
1. Who wrote it?
2. Can you find which organization is
connected to the information?
3. Is it current?
4. Is it biased or balanced in viewpoint?
Start with a quick evaluation ofthe
URL – or Domainname
What does this website URL tell you? (very useful for a quick scan of a resultslist)
Name of the organization
Type of organization
Country of website
Major types of organizations on the Internet (part of the URL):
.com OR .co
.edu OR .ac
commercial (usually trying to sell you something)
organization (useful if you recognize the name)
education (generally reliable information, backed by the
university or academic institution)
government (generally reliable information, though not all
governments in the world always support the same information)
Example: You are researching Australian conservation issues
What can you tell about the reliability of the conservation information likely in these websites
just from their URL?
Which would you look at first?
Example: What can you tell about the reliability
of the conservation information likely in these websites
just from their URL?
(Australian government information about World Heritage Listings)
(UNESCO site about the Fraser Island World Heritage Listing. This is a known and reputable .org site)
(Australian Conservation Foundation information, but the abbreviation of the name of the organization is
likely to be less familiar than that of UNESCO for a .org site)
(Conservation volunteers Australia – asking for volunteers, donations etc., so unlikely to be a first choice)
(University of Adelaide Environment Institute – Higher Education research information)
Now you have made a good start!
Critically evaluate all web information for use
in academic research (and life!)
Produced by Gulf Coast State College (US)
(C.R.A.A.P. evaluation technique)