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Internet Literacy

Research by Natalya Sinitskaya

Evaluation of Internet Sources

The Internet contains a sheer volume of easily accessible material. The problems that it offers for cyberspace readers are connected to the facts that the information is unclassified, it can be issued and posted by almost anyone with or without a specific purpose.

Thus, the problems of evaluating Internet sources and validating their use in the research arise.

According to Sorapure, Inglesby and Yatchisin (1998), evaluation guidelines are available from two sources:

1. Cool and hot sites of the day!

The evaluation does not contain any indication what ‘cool’ and ‘hot’ refer to and in what way the sources could be useful .

2. Lycos, Yahoo!

These search engines provide ratings of certain sites— although the evaluative categories are more transparent, they are still too vague and often irrelevant (design, well-chosen images).

Wolfgram Memorial Library, Widener University

UC Berkeley, Teaching Library Internet Workshops

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, King’s College

 The Sheridan Libraries, The Johns Hopkins University

VUW Department of Library and Information Studies


University of Toronto at Scarborough, Library Services

Library guidelines are to a great extent based on assessing print resources. They include parameters like authorship, credibility, bias, and sponsorship.

The majority of guidelines are very helpful in assessing the information on the web, but as Sorapure et al. (1998) have noted, these strategies can lead readers to rejecting potentially relevant and valuable sources because of unusual authorship or sponsorship.

Web-authoring Guidelines

University Library Guidelines

· Ask relevant questions about purpose of the web page, its authors and target audience

· Conduct follow-up research on the topic

· Balance information by including other Internet sources as well as printed sources

What are the additional strategies of evaluation? (Sorapure, Inglesby and Yatchisin, 1998)

How did the Internet affect literacy?


One criterion that I feel can be used to characterize good content (at least at this point in the development of cyberspace) is that of value.

Pixie Ferris

Writing in Cyberspace