This is another step in the planning and research process. Previous steps are found in earlier postings. We will post additional steps in coming weeks.
Step six is to review the collected information to assure accuracy. Unless you vet and validate both the information and the sources, the client has no way of knowing whether to rely on the information. The outlines of this phase are dealt with here. There will be further development of the minutiae of this critical step later in the manual.
Remember, good sources can give bad information and bad sources sometimes give good information. Evaluate carefully because:
- Few safeguards exist to ensure Internet information is accurate
- Anyone can publish anything on the Web
- It is often hard to determine a Web page’s authorship
- Even if a page is signed, qualifications are usually not provided
- Sponsorship is not always indicated
The material should match the customer’s requirements. There are a variety of requirements for the analysis, a list that is common in the research world.
Analysis of collected materials, to extract the information that matches the client’s needs, is key. Collected materials are analyzed for:
- Authority/Qualifications (does the person know what they are talking about)
- Accuracy (consistency with other materials, validation, sources).
- Currency (timely or dated).
- Objectivity (from advocacy groups, balanced viewpoints, analysis of links, claims to speak for groups).
- Credibility (properly identifies itself, citied by others, background record of web site and hosting service).
- Relevancy (particularly applies to the Internet since not all Web pages containing the key words are relevant to the subject).
- Coverage (does it completely cover the subject)
- Appearance (does it appear to be professional and business-like)