www use

John R. Porter porter at SHRSYS.HSLC.ORG
Sat Feb 22 16:19:14 EST 1997

Have to jump in again.  To view the Internet as merely an extension of the
phone system, is to say that the library system is also such an extension.
It is going to change the way we view information retrieval and
information access, probably faster than any of us dare hope.  It is
important to discuss the credibility of the information there, just as it
is for journal and book sources.  There is a lot of lunatic fringe stuff
out there in hard-copy print.  It may also be important to urge more
reliance on more stable sites, such as the protein and DNA/RNA databanks,
but much valuable material is in other sites.  How often have you seen a
journal citation which is virtually impossible to verify?  Probably not
often from students, but they happen.  Are you going to say that other
ephemeral sources, such as newspapers, are also never citable?  Are these
peer-reviewed?  Is there never valuable information to be found there?  Do
you have to weed out the junk?

Evaluation of the quality of the information is one of the most valuable
things that we can teach our students.  But, before that, we need to teach
them the tools to acquire the information to evaluate.  Whether
plant-edders wish it or no, that includes the Internet and WWW sites.  I
would much, much rather a student cite an unstable or ephemeral site than
to make it appear as the student's own idea without citation.

Ross, Scott, others?  Your turn.

John Porter
porter at pcps.edu

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