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Chapter 7. Keys to Information Quality in Advocacy Web Pages

Chapter 7. Keys to Information Quality in Advocacy Web Pages

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64



Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web

AUTH 1.7

Clear indication of who is responsible for the site



AUTH 1.3

Contact

information for agency

responsible for site



NAV 3.1

Links to the U.S. EPA

home page



OBJ 1.10

Link to information about

purpose of the site



INT/TRA 1.2

Link to information about the site’s

privacy and security policies



Figure 7.1  An advocacy home page. (Reprinted from U.S. Environmental Protection

Agency [EPA], EPA Environmental Kids Club: home page, U.S. EPA, Washington, DC, n.d.,

http://www.epa.gov/kids/index.htm [accessed April 6, 2009].)



• The nature of the advocacy organization responsible for the contents of the

site or pages

• Whether the information on the page is likely to be reliable, authoritative,

and trustworthy

• Whether the information on the page is relevant to the user’s information

needs



Keys to Information Quality in Advocacy Web Pages



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Figure 7.2  An advocacy Web page. (Reprinted from U.S. Department of Health and

Human Services, Can your food do that? In Smallstep kids, U.S. Department of Health and

Human Services, Washington, DC, n.d., http://www.smallstep.gov/kids/flash/can_your_food.

html [accessed April 4, 2009].)



These same questions can also be used by a Web author to create advocacy pages

that can be recognized as originating from a reliable source.



The Advocacy Checklist: Keys to Evaluating

and Creating Advocacy Web Pages

An advocacy Web page is one with the primary purpose of influencing public opinion. The following questions are intended to complement the general questions found

on the Checklist of Basic Elements. The greater the number of questions on both the

Checklist of Basic Elements and the Advocacy Checklist answered with a “yes,” the

greater the ­likelihood that the quality of information on an advocacy Web page can

be determined.



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Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web



If the page you are analyzing is not a home page, it is important on return to the

site’s home page to answer the questions in the Authority of the Site’s Home Page

section of the checklist.



Authority

Authority of the Site’s Home Page

The following information should be included either on the site’s home page or on a

page directly linked to the home page:

• Is there a listing of the names and qualifications of any individuals who are

responsible for overseeing the organization (such as a board of directors?)

AUTH 1.7

• Is there an indication of whether the advocacy organization has a presence

beyond the Web? For example, do its members hold face-to-face meetings?

AUTH 1.8

• Is there an indication whether the site is sponsored by an international,

national, or local chapter of an organization? AUTH 1.9

• Is there a listing of materials produced by the organization and information

about how they can be obtained? AUTH 1.10

• Is a complete description of the nature of the organization provided?

AUTH 1.11

• Is there a statement of how long the organization has been in existence?

AUTH 1.12

• Is there an indication that the organization adheres to guidelines established

by an independent monitoring agency? AUTH 1.14

• Is there an indication that the organization has received a tax exemption

under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code? AUTH 1.19



Accuracy

• Are sources for factual information provided, so the facts can be verified in

the original source? ACC1.2



Objectivity

• Is there a description of the goals of the person or organization for providing the information? This is often found in a mission statement. OBJ 1.9

• Is it clear what issues are being promoted? OBJ 1.10

• Are the organization’s or person’s views on the issues clearly stated? OBJ 1.11

• Is there a clear distinction between expressions of opinion on a topic and

any informational content that is intended to be objective? OBJ 1.13



Interaction and Transaction Features

• For sites with a membership option, is there a mechanism provided for users

to become a member of the organization? INT/TRA 1.4



to Information

8 Keys

Quality in Business

Web Pages

Keys to Recognizing a Business Web Page

The primary purpose of a business Web page is to promote or sell products or services. Examples of uses for business Web pages include a store selling its products

through an online catalog or a computer company providing upgrades for its software and other customer support services via the Web. The URL address of the page

often ends in .com (commercial).

A “yes” answer to any of the following questions provides a good indication that

the primary purpose of the page is business or marketing. Does the page:















Promote a product or service?

Provide customer support?

Make the company’s catalog available online?

Provide product updates or new versions of a product?

Provide documentation about a product?

Request information about a person’s lifestyle, demographics, or finances?



Analysis of Business Web Pages

Figure 8.1 illustrates the home page from the Roots Canada & International Web

site. The page demonstrates how many important elements have been included on a

business home page. For example, the page

• Displays selected products offered for sale by the company

• Includes a link to an About Roots page that provides a variety of information about the company

• Provides a “contact us” link

Figures 8.2 and 8.3 are two additional pages from the Roots Canada & International

Web site that illustrate numerous other important features.

When analyzing a business Web page, it is important first to use the list of general

questions found in the Checklist of Basic Elements and subsequently to apply the questions from the Business Checklist. Answering these questions can help a user determine

the following:

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Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web

AUTH 1.1

Company responsible for site

contents clearly indicated



COV/IA 1.7

Listing of products and

services offered



INT/TRA 1.2

Link to Roots’ privacy policy



INT/TRA 1.1

McAfee Secure Certification

(Mark indicates that this site is scanned certifed daily to

help insure the security of customer information. The

“live” McAfee Secure mark appears only when the site

successfully passes the daily scan.)



NAV 6.1

Internal search

engine provided



AUTH 1.11,

AUTH 1.12

Link to

information

about the

company

AUTH 1.3

Methods to contact

company provided



Figure 8.1  A business home page. (Reprinted from Roots Canada Ltd., Roots Canada

& International [home page], 2002–2009-c, http://canada.roots.com/ [accessed March 31,

2009]. Reproduced with permission from Roots Canada Ltd.)



• The nature of the business

• Whether the information at the site is likely to be reliable, authoritative,

and trustworthy

• Whether the information at the site is relevant to a user’s information needs

These same questions can be used by Web authors as a guide to creating business

pages that can be recognized as originating from a reliable, trustworthy source.



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