II.4.2 Quality criteria for scientific publications
In general, every source of information should be critically scrutinized. Printed publications are subject to a certain amount of quality control by the publishers and by the inclusion or non-inclusion of the titles in a reference database. With Internet publications, however, you are largely on your own when it comes to assessing the quality.
Well-established quality criteria are:
- Publication purpose:
- With what background was the information was published?
- For which target group?
- Can the authors be identified or do they remain anonymous? Who are the authors, from which field do they come?
- What are the reputation and qualifications of the publisher or by whom was the website published (scientific institution, museum, company etc.)?
- Where does the content come from?
- Can the statements be verified?
- How accurate is the information and how objective is the presentation?
- How broad is the spectrum of content, what is left out?
- Timeliness, updating:
- When was the document published? For Internet sites: When were they last revised (in regard to content); is this even to tell?
- What is the state of the information?
- What other literature is referred to? For Internet sites: Where do the links lead to, who links to the site and with what intention?
Further tips & hints: