All entries for Tuesday 10 April 2007

April 10, 2007

When was it last updated?

Writing about web page

One of the things that we recommend to students as a clue to the reliability and quality of a web resource is when it is last updated. But how do you find this out?

Sometimes the page itself tells you, but sometimes you can investigate further yourself. Two handy methods are described in Phil Bradley’s Q&A in the CILIP update, which I’ve linked to.

One is:
Use Firefox as your browser, click on ‘Tools’ and scroll down to ‘Page Info’ where you will see the ‘Modified’ date, amongst other information.
The other tip is to type in the address bar:

Once you know when a page was last updated, what that information actually tells you about the webpage is another matter. Sometimes an abandoned web page is a sign of one that should not be relied upon, and at other times the fact that it was written at the time of a particular event can make it more valuable as a source.

The University of California Berkeley Library’s guide to using the Internet and evaluating web pages states that “Undated factual or statistical information is no better than anonymous information. Don’t use it.”

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