Evaluation is a key skill when finding and using information. You must be able to distinguish between examples of information of high and low quality, in addition to identifying and applying appropriate quality criteria such as authority and bias. This will enable you to confidently evaluate a range of resources effectively. These resources include books, articles, reports, websites, personal contacts, online tools and more.
Evaluation is not just about determining whether a source is reliable or not reliable. It is considering the degree to which a source is reliable for a given purpose. The primary goal of evaluation is to understand the significance and value of a source in relation to other sources and your own thinking on a topic. Sources should be evaluated when doing any research.
When faced with a vast amount of information, it is crucial to develop effective evaluation skills to discern trustworthy sources from unreliable ones. Using the 5W1H framework (Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How), this user guide will help you critically evaluate the information you encounter.
Using the 5W1H framework to evaluate information empowers you to make informed decisions about the credibility and reliability of the sources you encounter. By considering the Who, What Where, When, Why, and How of the information, you can identify biases, verify facts, and assess the relevance of the content to your research or decision-making needs. Always prioritize using reliable sources and corroborate information through multiple channels to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness.
Generative Artificial Intelligence tools, such as ChatGPT or Google Gemini, are not a reliable source of information. They frequently generate inaccurate, biased or misleading responses, including fabricating references. The University recommends that you must not use artificial intelligence tools to generate content for any of your assessments unless such use has been specifically authorised. See the following Student Hub Knowledge Base article for more detail.
Cite Them Right also has some background information on AI tools and academic work. If you do use artificial intelligence as part of an assignment you need to acknowledge and reference the content used. Cite Them Right has guidance on referencing artificial intelligence in different styles. This covers both content available to all on the internet as well as content you might reference as a personal communication. If you are unsure about use of artificial intelligence do speak to your module teaching staff.
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