In the current generation, internet has become a very vital tool of research and has continually received innumerous numbers of visitors in its sites and pages. Many researchers have turned to make maximum use of the tool to yield quality works. Nevertheless, there is a great need to evaluate this source of information for reliability and credibility. In this paper, we will look at a simple topic on “social media” and study how a site discusses every detail regarding this topic. From this, we are going to find out the reliability of the source as well as evaluate its credibility. Evaluating internet sources gives a researcher an opportunity to develop a critical thinking skill and play an editorial role that many sites lack. In addition, the evaluation criteria ensure that the research work done meets the need and eliminates cases of inaccuracy, incredible materials and so on (Rubin et al, 2010).
To start with, it is important to assess internet sources, in order to discover and approve of its genuineness, and all materials given in that source. This is because any research work requires accuracy, relevance, appropriateness, importance, and no bias towards any side of an argument. In addition, any material from a given source can be related with basic information about a topic to conclude on its credibility. This is because much of the information on the internet has not been reviewed by any scholar of experts and hence we may view it as the writer’s opinions and ideas.
In this paper, we used www.webopedia.com to search the answers to the questions. To answer the C.A.R.S. checklist questions, we researched on the person/ organization that created, and runs the site, and the quality control of the site. No specific author is listed on the site, and it is a property of Quinstreet Enterprises. This source can be termed as credible as there is no spelling mistakes, grammar errors, dead links or other problems indicating poor quality. Hence, the site has credible material as far as this parameter is concerned.
On accuracy, it is clear that this source gives information that relates closely to other credible sites like www.google.com and Wikipedia. Though shallow information has been provided, the site does not, contradict itself in any way whatsoever. The definition of social media is clear as a networking site, which can be unanimously accepted as true. The copyright date is 2014 which shows that the information therein the site is the latest and probably the most updated. From the given Copyright date, the materials in the site have been updated in the recent past, as late as the current year, 2014.
The source is truthful and unprejudiced. The site gives other related sources about the questions and checking from the quoted sources, this site is independent and does not take sides, for example on the question on the pros and cons of social media. The author of the site is careful to put points across in a way that is not skewed towards any point. There could be an advertising reason that prompted the author to create the site. This can be seen from other download links that are on the same web page. In addition, the webpage has other information that do not relate with the issue of social media at all.
Finally, the sources and reference materials on the information on this site are listed, and can as well be checked. There are physical addresses to reach the author and trace them and this may help the researcher even to check on the author’s history, and such details.
Rubin, Rebecca B, Alan M. Rubin, Linda J. Piele, and Paul M. Haridakis. Communication Research: Strategies and Sources. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.