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Reliability of Information Retrieved from the Internet

The internet has become a powerful platform to access information, but this sea of information available to all  has some disadvantages in terms of reliability.

Some decades ago, when I was studying Communication Arts at the Philippine Women’s University, I remember that doing research was always a problem for me. At that time, research means spending at least half a day in the library of the PWU, in search for books, magazines and other related materials needed for my topic. It was always a big question mark whether I could find the literature needed to develop my topic. This was because the available  books at that time at the PWU were limited. And when this happens, my only option was to go to the Philippine National Library located in the vicinities of Luneta park to continue with my research.

Going to the Philippine National Library was even more problematic because it was very far from the place where I was residing.  From Las Pinas, Metro Manila,  I had to spend at least an hour and a half to arrive at the library, spend two to three hours for my research, then again another hour and a half to return home. Doing research also means writing a lot, because, at that period, making xerox copies was quite expensive. So, most of the time I spent at the library was dedicated to copying all the literature needed for my research topic. The whole process, therefore, was tiring and time consuming.

Nowadays, I do online research from the comfort of my home. With my laptop, internet connection and the appropriate keywords, I have always been facilitated to write about a wide range of subjects: from ownership investments like stocks, real estates and precious objects, to topics like online reputation, paper production, business management, homemade cakes and pastries, on agriculture, health and even on topics that concern non-English speaking people like the Japanese. Greater internet connectivity has transformed the way I work, how I collect information, and how I share this information to people. And, in particular, the internet has demolished geographical barriers, facilitating information access regardless of the physical location of individuals.

Thanks to information and communication technologies (ICTs) gadgets and the internet, information
has become a mouse click away. It is fast, easy and convenient to search for information in this immense sea of websites, blogs, news sites, forums, social media sites, wikis and, of course, open access journals. The internet has become a powerful platform to access information. But, this sea of information online can have some disadvantages in terms of reliability. Sources are sometimes uncertain and a lot of content are plagiarized because of freedom from regulation. Some observers suggest that the internet has largely contributed in the elevated occurrence of plagiarism.

As a conclusion, doing research nowadays has become easier, faster and convenient. The internet has become a potent research tool where information can be easily retrieved by means of the appropriate keywords. However, as internet users we should also bear in mind that reliability of information retrieved online can be sometimes uncertain. Thus, attention and tact should be always used in selecting the sources of the information we need.

Angelo. (2011). Advantages and disadvantages of internet as a research tool. Retrieved from
Jurafsky, D. & Manning, C. (n.a.). Introduction to information retrieval. Retrieved from
OReilley. (n.a.). Become an expert google searcher in an hour. Retrieved from


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