The internet is a valuable tool, providing a wealth of knowledge at readers’ fingertips. Users no longer have to write out questions and head to the library, pulling open the card catalog to locate a book with a foreign number. No one has to cipher through an entire book or look in the index to find a specific spot to read. Instead, a phone or tablet may be pulled out on the spot; the question is typed into a search box. Voila! The answer is there. Well, pages of solutions are there, ready to be perused. Which one is legit? Which one should a researcher trust? This is the new crux. Before trusting that internet answer, be sure to consider the following factors.
Who Wrote the Information?
Remember that in the past, publishers fact-checked information before putting works out to read. The internet is a different ball game. Anyone can post. Search the page for information on the author. Then, think about the answers to the following questions:
- Who is this person?
- What experience does this person have in the field?
- Does this person have a degree in this area?
For example, publishers like Bentham Open believe that printed works should come from those with knowledge and expertise. Journals such as these become reliable sources during research endeavors.
Is the Site or Article Validated by Peers?
While some places may take anything, seeking monetary compensation as the goal. Many institutions look for others to review and consider ideas before they enter the internet. For instance, Bentham Science Open takes pride in asking peers to read others’ papers, deciding whether scientific writings are correct and acceptable for publication. This double-step is an excellent thing to look for in trusting a source as it reveals that others in the career field hold it in high esteem.
Read carefully and thoughtfully. Remember, don’t believe everything you read. See if you can trust the writer and whether others hold the source in high-esteem.