Try Evaluating this Subject-Based Web
Some general questions to ask about Subject-based
Does the site point to primary or secondary information?
Is the site more than just a list of external links?
Is there any unique content?
Is there any added value?
How good is the subject coverage?
Who has created the site an how authoritative are they on this subject?
How current is the site and the information it points to - is it well maintained?
Here are some pictures and clues from a subject-based Web site. Take
a look and answer the questions.
What does the subject coverage
of this site appear to be?
On the front page of the site the author
of the site states:
|I can't take all the credit for the Dead Sociologists' Society, I just
pieced some old ideas together. In order to give credit to where it is
due, I have listed my references below. The pics were borrowed from Don
Martindale's classic book The Nature and Types of Sociological Theory,
mostly from the original 1960 version which I what I cut my teeth on. There
is also a second edition which has some of the same pictures with some
new ones and an updated text. These are listed below if you're interested
in some additional reading.
The other material, which is most of the text that you find here, is
borrowed from Lewis Coser's classic work, (which is what I had as an undergraduate) and still one of the best overall sociological theory
texts around, Masters of Sociological Thought. It is also referenced below.
The Nature and Types of Sociological Theory by Don Martindale.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1960.
The Nature and Types of Sociological Theory (2nd Ed.) by Don
Martindale. Prospect Heights, Illinois, 1981. ISBN 0-88133-353-0
Masters of Sociological Thought: Ideas in Historical and Social Context
(2nd Ed.) by Lewis A. Coser. Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt Brace
Jovanovich, 1977. ISBN 0-15-555130-2 (I learned on the original version
of this one too, but I am referencing the second edition because it was
also updated like Martindale.)
Is the information on the site
- Primary information
- Secondary information
Which of the following clues is
the best indicator that the
sources of the information are
- The sources are printed books that have been filtered by academic publishers
- The sources are printed books referred to as 'classic works'
- The titles imply they are academic texts and they have ISBN numbers
The Index of information available on
Karl Marx reads as follows:
What is the "added value" of this
site? (you may select more than
- It brings together lots of disparate information on the subject, from a variety of print and Internet sources
- It has made information from printed books available in electronic form on the Internet
- It has organised the information in a user-friendly way that makes it easy to browse
How could you find out if the
hyperlinks on the site pointed to
internal sites (held on the same
server as the front page) or
external sites (held on remote
- Click on them and check to see if the sites you were taken to had the same domain name as the homepage
- Hold the cursor over the links and read the URL that appears at the bottom of your Web browser - then see if the domain name was the same as that of the homepage
There is a link to the personal homepage
of the author of this site. This says:
What could you do to check the
validity of the claim that he
teaches at Radford University?
(You may pick more than one)
- Look at the link to the Department of Sociology and Anthropology page and see if his name is mentioned on the site
- Take his word for it
- Look at the URL and see if it has a mention of Radford or a .ac or .edu in it
- See if his vita (CV) also says he teaches at Radford
- Look at his email address to see if it mentions Radford or .ac or .edu
What conclusions do you draw about the
quality of this site?
Am I right?
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