Skip to main content

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.


References:
Angelo. (2011). Advantages and disadvantages of internet as a research tool. Retrieved from http://www.busandman.com/?p=28
Jurafsky, D. & Manning, C. (n.a.). Introduction to information retrieval. Retrieved from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5L1qemKyUKA
OReilley. (n.a.). Become an expert google searcher in an hour. Retrieved from


Comments

Popular Posts

Fighting Air Pollution in Metro-Manila Philippines

Air pollution is one of the most pressing challenges that Metro-Manila is facing today...



Statement of the Issue
Air pollution is one of the most pressing challenges that Metro-Manila is facing today. According to the report released by the Department of Environment and Natural  Resources’ Environment and Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), the air quality situation in the National Capital Region in the first quarter of 2015 was even worse than that of the end of 2014 (as cited in Metro-Manila’s Air…, 2015). While the maximum safe level of total suspended particulates (TSP) of air pollutant concentration was 90 micrograms per normal cubic meter (ug/NCM), monitoring data revealed that the total TSP reached 130 ug/NCM, higher than the 106 per normal cubic meter recorded at the end of 2014.  
The World Health Organization 2006 Report showed that, pollution, especially from airborne particulate matter (PM), has serious adverse health effects which are being experienced by urban populations in bot…

Definition and Assumptions of the Uses and Gratification Theory

The uses and gratification theory marked a perspective shift in the study of mass communication...



Framed by Elihu Katz, Jay Blumler, and Michael Gurevitch in the 1970’s, the uses and gratification theory marked a perspective shift in the study of mass communication by turning its attention away from media sources and message and how they affect the audience [1].  Blumler and Katz’s uses and gratification theory considers, instead, the audience not a passive but an active player in their  media choices, and that these choices depend largely on media users’ apparent needs, wishes or motives [2], and that audiences are thereby formed based on their similarities of wishes, needs and motives. 
 Elihu Katz [3] first introduced the uses and gratification perspective when he came up with the idea that individuals make use of media to their advantage.This perspective surfaced in the 1970’s when Blumler and Gurevitch persisted in expanding the idea.
Blumler and Katz  [4]and Rossi [5] discussed t…

Theories on Mass Media and the Construction of Reality

Media attribute its own meaning to the content being channeled to its target audience...





Over the years, the mass media have assumed a prevailing role in the global society by becoming the key source of regular and incessant flow of data, images and information.  People have become heavily dependent on the media, receiving big quantities of news and all kinds of information.
When people access information by means of the mass media (or through the eyes of the mass media) the media attribute its own meaning or logic to the content itself, generating in the process its interpretation of the issue involved.  As it channels the specific content to the public/audience, it obviously imposes that kind of logic to them.  
Thus, reality constructed and imposed by the media to its audience does not necessarily mean the real one, since media content is the result of the work of reporters and opinionists, who are also being influenced by their respective convictions and beliefs: their own systems o…