Evaluating Research Sources

EvaluatingResearch Sources

Oneway that helps determine the reliability of a source on the internetis relating the ideas that are on the source to the particularauthor, business or organization. This is one way through which onecan know the degree of accountability of the concepts and ideasexpressed. Once the business, individual or organization responsiblefor the content is established, then one should begin searching forclues that aid in ascertaining their credibility, such as reputationand credentials (Wiercioch 1). The author or sponsoring organizationsshould be succinctly stated. It is important to note that the sponsorof a given site is the party responsible for the content in thesource. One can quickly establish the sponsor of a given site bylooking at the references at the bottom or top of the page. Also, thefirst part of the address of a website referred to as the domainbears information that gives the reader a general idea of the sponsorof the page. For instance, a website that has the domain name .edumeans that the website is sponsored by an educational institution,.org means the host is an organization such as the United Nations,.gov means it is a government department or agency, and .com meansthat it is a commercial enterprise. Even so, it is imperative tostate that some sponsors are not directly accountable for thesubstance on their websites, such as a personal page that are usuallyhosted by commercial internet service provider (net, AOL and Up) oruniversities. It is easier to identify the pages mentioned abovebecause they are often represented by a title in their address(Wiercioch 1).

Furthermore,it is not clear in the address who is the sponsor behind the page,one can remove a portion of the address form the page to go back tothe rot address. For example, if you are searching for doomsdaylocated at http://www.learner.org/exhibits/dommsday/ and it difficultto identify who is sponsoring the page, hence one can go back tohttp://www.learner.org/. It will be easy to discover the doomsdaysite is sponsored by a certain corporation and who funded the project(Wiercioch 1).

Twelveout of fifteen entries on the Google search engine after entering Dr.David M. Jacobs, an historian, have the domain name .com. Some areblogs, youtube, and amazon books on sales. There are three sites withthe domain name .org, namely Wikipedia, www.ufoevidence.org/ andufologie.patrickgross.org. When searching for the Dr. MichaelPersinger, neurologist, and geologist, most of the sites have thedomain name .com with a few with .edu and .org. It is difficult toestablish by just looking at the sites which one have reliableinformation and which are not. Some websites with domain name .comare for commercial enterprises and blogs, but have very accurate andreliable information. These include the BBC (BBC.com), Amazon .com,and patrickgross.org. Other such as badufos.blogspot.com andbarnadonovan.blogspot.com/ can easily be highlighted as those withunreliable information.

Thethree sites with domain name .org can be termed as reliable sourcesbecause they meet all the requirements that information bothauthentic and dependable. First, by the sheer fact that they are .orgmeans that the sponsor is a corporation or organization. These arebodies that have committed resources to acquire information onvarious aspects relating to the two personalities. Secondly, allthese sites provide a long list of references, succinctly indicatingwhere they derived their information. The qualification of theauthors is concisely described and other materials that they haveauthored in the past. All pertinent details such as phone numbers,work and home addresses and current positions and places of work arealso well highlighted. This means the author is not only availablefor questioning but is also confident of the information they havegiven in the articles. Even though such articles have not beenrefereed, and some of the details given may be somewhat subjective,the judgment of the authors due to their qualification and sources ofinformation used, is sound, accurate and reliable.

Oneof the articles that provides reliable information is title the UFOEvidence, authored by Dr. David Jacobs. The author is described a s aholder of a Ph.D. and an associate professor at the TempleUniversity. We are also reliably informed that Dr. Davids is aspecialist in 20 the century American culture and history. On theWebsite of Temple University, it can be confirmed that it is truethat Dr. Davids is a professor there and specializes in Americanculture and history. Another reliable site is thehttp://www.bbc.co.uk, with an article authored by Rudi Affolter andGwen Tighe. Both of these are senior editors and seasoned journalistin the BBC Corporation, in segment referred to as science and nature.This supports the assumption that the articles in the sites mentionedare reliable.

Mostof the sites with the domain name.com have subjective details of theperson of interest, although a number provide accurate and succinctdetails. The sites with domain name .com cannot be trusted asreliable sources of information relating to the subject matter. Theauthors do not provide adequate details of their qualification,current position and education accomplishments and other pertinentinformation that may help establish their credibility. Many of thesesites do not provide a reference of the source that were used togather the data and information relating to Dr, David .M. and Dr.Michael Persinger, neurologist, and geologist. This inevitably watersdown their credibility and dependability because, without a list ofreferences, one can only deduce one thing, that the informationprovided is based on personal opinions and thoughts about the subjectmatter. These include badufos.blogspot.com, with an article authoredby Robert Sheaffer and barnadonovan.blogspot.com/ with an articleauthored by Barna Donovan.

Thetwo authors searched in this work, Dr. David J, (historian) and Dr,Michael Persinger (cognitive neuroscientist) are credible authors andexperts. Both have worked in their respective fields for many decadesand have an excellent academic qualification. Both have also authorednumerous articles some of which are have been refereed by theirpeers.


Wiercioch,Jill. Introductionto Selecting Sources.2013. ipl2 Library. Available athttp://www.ipl.org/div/pf/entry/87172 [Accessed on 25/10.15]