Validating sources

Search vehicles like Google help students, teachers, and business people access a mind-boggling amount of information.

Yet, (as with every great concept) a significant threat exists to the freedom of information - misinformation, hoaxes, and outright lies.

This site provides a thorough index of urban legends (many of which have been circulated on the Internet), explains their origins and provides ratings of “true,” “partially true,” “false” or “undetermined.” Another interesting location for uncovering the truth can be found at gov/approach/mythbusters. “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see,” Benjamin Franklin once said, wisely.

Evaluating the credibility and validity of sources of information can be a very complex thing to do.

The credibility of the sources of information depends on the reliability of the information used to support points.

This has to be done in great detail and you have to use a certain format such as APA or MLA style.

There is a guideline that I have learned while in college in regards to credentials.

You have to find out what the author’s qualifications are and what credentials he or she holds that are equivalent to the subject. If it is indeed professional and the tone is for the targeted audience then more than likely the source of information is credible.

For example, if I was writing a research paper on medicine, I wouldn’t consider a journal or article discussing medicine credible unless the author that wrote the article was a professor of medicine or currently a practicing physician. Knowing the motive behind the page's creation can help you judge its content. Many people have become so dependent on the Internet in their everyday lives that they have trouble recognizing when the information they happen to access there is inaccurate.I have learned that a source of information is only as credible as the author’s credentials and the reputation of the publishing company or organization that are supporting him or her. For example, if discussing a particular type of medicine, it should be clear of the author’s connection. The writing style and tone is another way to form credibility and validity of sources of information.When it comes to credentials, the first thing you should do is research the author. Credibility of the source of information should depend on the information itself and not the opinion of whoever the author is that wrote the article. You should determine whether the tone is professional or not.With the rapid circulation of e-mail and the vast resources of the Internet, the quantity of information provided by friends or associates often outweighs the quality.