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Foundation Studies

Provides starting points for finding information on the research topics for Foundation Studies.

Evaluation Examples

When you have found some websites assess their suitability using the criteria you have identified.

There is often no definitive answer to the question of whether a website is suitable to your project. This is a judgement that you need to make based on the criteria outlined in this guide.

Here are some examples of websites and the kind of assessments you might make.

Greenpeace

RELEVANCE

  • Audience – General public, especially with an interest in conservation and the environment.
  • Language – Well written, but with some emotive language and imagery.
  • Currency – Copyright date of 2020 with many up to date news bulletins and clips.
  • Connection (relevance) to task – If your question was about conservation, endangered animals etc, a good place to look for background and current information.
  • Amount of information – In depth but aiming not to overwhelm the reader.

AUTHORITY

  • Author – Most of the articles are written by "Greenpeace" rather than any individual. Greenpeace is an organisation with a high public profile and the authority of material here is therefore dependent on how you view the credibility of the organisation generally. About us section provides Governance and financial reports.
  • References – Articles often have statistics and other information to back up its arguments.
  • Information – Articles are politically charged but would agree with the environmental movement in general.
  • Organisation – Not for profit (.org) but do rely heavily on fundraising.

RELIABILITY

  • Kind of information – A thorough web site with ample links and further information, more opinion based but does provide some evidence for statements made.
  • Objectivity – Does take a certain political view point and only provides evidence to support its viewpoint.  Would need to look at other sources of information for a more subjective overview of conservation and the environment.
  • Primary / Secondary source – Generally, provides primary source information (about their activities).
  • Goal – Greenpeace want to convince you that its stance on conservation and the environment is true and justified.  Its wants you to donate money or take part in the organisation.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

RELEVANCE

  • Audience – General public, particularly those with an interest in the Reef for scientific purposes or for travel, may also interest scientific community, government agencies.
  • Language – Accessible to general public, or scientific community interested in research projects.
  • Currency – Has copyright date of 2018, but has up to date news bulletins and all links seem to be working.
  • Connection (relevance) to task – Covers many aspects of Reef topics and issues, should provide good background.
  • Amount of information – In depth about a range of aspects, environmental, industry related, travel & tourism, research information for a Government perspective.

AUTHORITY

  • Author – Australian Government Authority with further government agencies as partners.
  • References – References are generally not supplied, information is stated but sources are not given. Further links to similar websites are given.
  • Information – Generally backs up current knowledge about the Reef as being environmentally sensitive, but important to the economy.
  • Organisation - Has the authority of the Australian Government (.gov), with further partner links to Queensland Government and other government and associated agencies. Does not supply a mission statement.

RELIABILITY

  • Kind of information – In depth information provided about all aspects of the reef.
  • Objectivity – No advertising, but there is only Government provided information e.g no evidence from other environmental groups or sources, references only link through to government documents. 
  • Primary / secondary source – Should be used as a Primary source.
  • Goal – Inform the public and scientific community about challenges facing the Great Barrier Reef, from a Government perspective.