The Issue of Quality on the Internet

The Internet is full of information but a lot of it is not of the high quality you might hope for. This may be because:

The quality of Internet resources varies a great deal. It is usually left up to the user to decide whether the resource is of a high or low quality.

If you want to find the right information for you on the Internet it can pay to evaluate the quality of the resources you are looking at.

Do you ever use a search engine? Then read on .......

Picture the scene:

You need some information and you need it fast.

The Internet seems like a good place to start so you head for a search engine and start typing.

You get a result - 20,000 resources come back at you. You start browsing ...

Resource Number 1

The title looks promising - but bang! When you try to connect you get an error message saying the server is down. The resource can't be accessed.

Resource Number 2

Again the title looks good - however, when you get to the site you find that it is a project report from Class 2B at Hillside Junior School.

Resource Number 3

It leads to a big site, with lots of links and lots of files. The answer's got to be here somewhere. Half an hour later you're still looking. This site's so big you need a map to find your way around - but there is no map so all you see are blind alleys and dead ends. Give up.

Resource Number 4

Now we are getting somewhere - the contents page looks great: but wait - that's all there is! The site is "under construction" and the information isn't ready yet.

Resource Number 5

It's looking good - there is page after page of facts and figures. The only problem is that none of them are accurate. Either they've been typed in by someone who can't type, or someone out there is trying to deceive.

Resource Number 6

OK. There's a link to the exact report you need. You're within spitting distance. The only problem is that to download this report you need special software and guess what - you don't have that software on your machine.

Resource Number 7

It's written by a person you know and looks like it will have what you need. Then you spot the date in the corner - they haven't updated this site for two years. A lot has happened since then, things have changed. Forget it - this is old news.

Resource Number 8

Could be useful - someone has collected lots of information from all over the Internet and put it on their own site. Are they to be trusted? Did they copy it accurately? There is no indication about who created this site and why, so move on.

Resource Number 9

Amazing - it says it's an encyclopaedia but it turns out to be pictures of people with no clothes on.

Only another 19,991 resources to go ... it's time for a coffee!

image of a cup of coffee

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