You MUST critically evaluate all the information you find. Your marks will suffer if you use poor quality information. If the evidence you use to support your arguments, analyses or conclusions is proven to be invalid or unreliable, again your marks will suffer. You are responsible for the information you use. You cannot blame the internet if you use poor quality information. Everyone knows there is poor quality information on the internet!
You should evaluate all the information you find whether via an internet search, in a book or a journal article, or given to you by your lecturer or tutor. You have to decide if the information meets your needs and is of sound quality. The key criteria to help with this evaluation are:
- Reliability and validity
- Bias and viewpoint
When you are reviewing results from a search engine, bear in mind that one of the quickest methods you can use to assess the relevancy of individual sites is to look at the URL.
In addition, think about what version of search engine you are using. The same search engine in different countries may produce differently weighted results depending on your search, displaying first results from the country in which you’re searching.