Or, did my research information come from a research center, a subject specialist, a hospital, a healthcare professional, a teenager, or from documents recently recovered from the ancient city of Herculaneum?
About the Author:
Does the author use an alias?
Is the author an authority on this subject?
What credentials or degrees does the author have within the subject matter? Is the author's degree an advanced (Masters, PhD) degree?
Do you have enough information to contact the author?
What is the author's current occupation? Where does the author work?
Where did the author get his information? Can you access the source of that information also?
Was the article peer-reviewed? Peer-review happens when an author submits an article or book for publication and a jury of his peers reviews the materials BEFORE publication. People can be turned down for publication during the peer-review process! They may have to re-write parts of the research. It may also be determined that the research is not appropriate for that publication.
About the Website:
Are professional affiliations included on the website?
Does the website include grammar or typographical errors?
Are there a lot of broken hyperlinks on the website?
How current is the information? Can you discern when the information was last updated? Can anyone update the information such as with Wikipedia?
Does the website include the Hon Code for Healthcare research reliability?
In your opinion, does the website seem to be biased in anyway?
Who is the intended audience?
Is the website attempting to sell you items or to give you information?
About your paper:
Do you have a balance of online resources as well as books and periodical articles from the library?
Are all of your paper's sources cited?
Did you plagiarized your paper?
Credible research information may be found from the following sources:
Libraries - libraries are still the best source of information for both print and non-print materials. And, libraries have people available to assist you with your research.
National and International organization websites
Governmental agency websites
Healthcare websites carrying the Hon Code icon. The Health care websites with the Hon Code alerts users as to their research reliability.
Non-credible websites include:
Wikipedia - anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry! Wikipedia entries should not be used as research source for any reason.
Personal websites, blogs, podcasts, etc. - Most of these resources are commentary sites and are not a source of credible information. Facebook, My Space, Twitter and other social networking websites are not reliable sources of information. If you choose to use any of these resources, question the validity of the available information and attempt to verify the information from another source.
Biased websites - these are sites with a particular view. To some extent, all media has a bias. Is the news being reported from a conservative perspective or a liberal perspective? Is the information being overshadowed by the bias of the author? Is the author attempting to sell you a product vs. giving you information?