Neal-Schuman Authoritative Guide to Evaluating Information on the Internet

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Voya Reviews
This useful title provides both a thorough overview of the need for assessing Internet sites and a tool for their evaluation. Discussion begins with the concept of quality as it relates to information on the Internet. Problems related to the Internet--too much information, the potential for inaccuracy, the possibility of outdated material on personal home pages--are outlined in detail. Cooke covers the advantages and disadvantages of search tools--search engines, subject directories, reviewing and rating sources, and gateway/portal sites--and provides ten general criteria for assessing information found on the Internet. Unique methods are offered for ten types of sources found on the Internet, such as Usenet newsgroups, electronic journals, FTP archives, FAQs, and image-based sources. Checklists for the general criteria and for judging each of the sources are provided along with an annotated bibliography of Internet sites related to evaluation. Because Cooke completed the research for this title in Britain, she uses many screen images and text examples of British Web sites with URLs given in bold type. There are, however, a large number of American sites as well. The author's superb checklists are the finest part of the book, and the range of sources for which they are provided is truly commendable. Many evaluation criteria on the checklists will be familiar to librarians for their conformity to methods used for appraising traditional print sources. This title will serve both as an introduction for library professionals who are Internet novices and as a reminder of the importance of assessing Web sites for librarians who are already Internet-savvy. Internet trainers and library systemswith Internet sites will also benefit from incorporating this information into their training sessions and following the criteria in Cooke's checklists to ensure well-designed sites. This comprehensive title is recommended for professional collections in all library systems. Glossary. Index. Illus. Biblio. Source Notes. 1999, Neal-Schuman, Ages Adult, 169p, $67.25 Oversize pb. Reviewer: Leah J. Sparks
Library Journal
The evaluation criteria outlined in this book were originally developed as part of a doctoral research project. The intended audience is "anyone, anywhere, anyhow...." However, casual Internet users or students will find more than they actually need or want in Cooke's guide. The first chapter outlines the problems of information quality on the net and defines information and information quality. Chapter 2 describes the advantages and disadvantages of search engines, subject directories, rating and review services, and subject-based gateway services (subject directories developed by librarians). Chapter 3, presents, in detail, the criteria for evaluating any Internet resource, including the purpose, coverage, authority, accuracy, currency, accessibility, design, and ease of use. Accessibility here does not include access by users with disabilities. Chapter 4 outlines evaluation criteria for particular types of net resources such as organizational WWW sites, personal homepages, subject-based web sites, electronic journals and magazines, image-based and multimedia sources, USENET and discussion lists, databases, FTP archives, current awareness services, and FAQs. The sections end with a "checklist" of important points, but several of the checklists are misplaced within following sections. An annotated bibliography of evaluation resources in print and online is provided. There is a glossary; however, some of the terms included are rather simplistic. Does "password" really need to be defined? This subject can be adequately covered in an article, web site, or as a chapter within a book. A whole volume on this topic tends to become repetitive. Recommended only for large library science collections. A better value for general users or students would be an Internet research guide, such as John Burke's Intronet: A Beginner's Guide to Searching the Internet (Professional Media, LJ 5/1/99), which includes a section on basic evaluation concepts.--Robert Battenfeld, Long Island Univ.-Southampton Coll. Lib., NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Assists Internet users in searching for quality information sources on the Internet, and in assessing the quality and reliability of materials. Presents a unique system for evaluating and selecting information, with step-by-step methods for identifying the purpose of a source, assessing its coverage and accuracy, evaluating presentation of information, and comparing sites with similar sources. Includes assessment guidelines and checklists, plus a glossary. For beginning and expert Internet users, library and information professionals, and developers of Internet materials. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555703561
  • Publisher: Neal-Schuman Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Series: Neal-Schuman Netguide Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.57 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 1
1 The Internet and Information Quality 6
2 Using Search Facilities to Maximize Quality Information Retrieval 18
3 Assessing the Quality of Any Internet Information Source 52
4 Evaluating Particular Types of Sources 85
Annotated Bibliography of Sources Related to Evaluating Internet Information 135
Glossary 153
Index 159
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