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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Writing in Criminal Justice: Should I Trust Internet Sources?

Top Ten Reasons for Evaluating Internet Sources

#1 There is no quality assurance when it comes to information found on the Internet: Anyone can post anything.

#2 In most cases, information found on the web has not been checked for accuracy.

#3 Not all web sites are created equal. They differ in quality, purpose, and bias.

#4 Some web sites have sponsors who pay for specific content to promote their products or ideas. The information is not impartial but biased.

#5 Some web sites voice opinions rather than make informed arguments.

#6 Some web sites are meant to be entertaining rather than informative.

#7 Some web sites seek to scandalize and breed controversy rather than provide reliable information.

#8 Some web sites are old and the information found there is out of date. 

#9 The quality and format of information you find on the Internet may not be appropriate for use in the academic context. 

#10 As a researcher, you  are responsible for evaluating all your sources, including the information found on the Internet.

How about Other Kinds of Web Content?

To learn about evaluating information posted on blogs and wikis, social networking sites, and other kinds of new media sites, follow the guide prepared by University Libraries at SUNY Albany.