|Essay type:||Evaluation essays|
|Categories:||Internet Information technologies|
Every day many websites are created to provide information to users on various issues that can be found in academic materials. Each website is meant to offer adequate and quality information to internet users who visit the site. To attract people to a given website, creators of the website strive to provide as much information as possible to ensure that the users feel satisfied with the information published therein. However, information provided may differ from one website to another, depending on the type of website and the effort the involved individuals have put in coming up with the content. This means that information on the website may contain information that lacks quality while others publish well-reached information. Therefore, it is imperative that the information provided on websites should be evaluated to assess its value. The quality of a website can be tested by examining currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose of its contents.
Background of the Website
Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut (https://universalhealthct.org/) is dedicated to the publication of information related to public health and other related topics relating to universal healthcare. The publications cover health issues that continue to shape not only health policies and practice in the United States, particularly in the state of Connecticut. According to information contained on the website, publications are sourced from various individuals who are qualified in a given topic and information posted reflects the latest issues concerning the challenges and issues that face health policy and practice in the state of Connecticut. By making such publications, it is anticipated the published knowledge would be shared thereby helping in the formulation of health policies for federal and state governments besides. The organization also spells out a range of activities that members and well-wishers are doing to ensure that all residents of Connecticut have access to health care without any preconditions.
Currency of Information
Currency relates to information being in tandem with what is trending in the country or globally in matters relating to healthcare. The information must be up to date regarding its focus and the information that is being disseminated to the readers. The site must be further updated regularly to ensure that the latest information in areas of concern is revised accordingly to reflect current realities in matters relating to healthcare and universal health coverage. The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut website contains information on topics that generate public debate in the United States. For instance, the current issues that the organization deals with are the issues surrounding Obamacare as well as those that relate to the rising prescription drug prices. The two issues continue to attract intense public debate in the wake of efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and drugs. The information contained on the website regarding these topics was updated as lately as 2019. Regular updates of articles and the issues that they cover show that the website passes the currency standards.
Closely related to the trends are the links that provide information. There are various sites on the website that offer information regarding universal healthcare and other topics. For information in a given website to be considered as current, the links must be reliable. In other words, the links must not be dead when one tries to access information as per the links provided. The links for the website are up to date and enable the reader to navigate the website with great ease. This suggests that the publishers are ready to provide as much information as possible to the readers and have nothing to hide about their goals and objectives. As such, the website that is described as up to standard in meeting the currency criteria.
The relevance of information deals with the mission of the organization. It concerns how the information provided on the website relates to the goals and objectives of the organization (Dalhousie University). Put simply, do the activities of the organization as listed in the website tally with the mission? From the website, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that information availed is pertinent to the issue of universal healthcare in the state of Connecticut. For example, the trending issue on the website about the rising cost of prescription drugs relates to universal healthcare. It is based on the idea that making drugs costly would make many Americans fail to purchase them. Those would fail to meet the high costs are likely to miss on care hence the need for the prices to be affordable for everybody to access them. Relevance can be seen in the videos, photos of events and persons that are contained in the website. They all relate to advocacy in providing quality healthcare for all. Consequently, the information on the website is credible since it meets the standards of relevance in so far as universal healthcare s concerned in the state of Connecticut.
Relevance can also be seen from the lens of the information that is published. The article " Some First Steps Proposed to Help Undocumented People Access Health Care," written by Jonathan Gonzalez-Cruz focuses on DACA recipients who continue to be discriminated against accessing insurance coverage. The article defends this group, arguing that they need to obtain health care insurance like other Americans. The basis for this argument is the provision of health care to everybody. Thus, it is relevant because it seeks to include DACA recipients who part and parcel of the American society. If they fail to access medical care, universal health is undermined. This is quite pertinent to the aim of the organization that operates the website.
For information contained on a given website to be considered as credible, the position of the authors regarding the theme of the website matter significantly. Authority is concerned with the ability to do something one is expected to do by their position or influence in a given field or area of specialization. It reveals the persons, institutions or organization responsible for making the publication. It is also essential that the website is affiliated with a reputable organization that can be considered as having the credibility to make publications in any area of academics (Dalhousie University; Armstrong and Brunskill 110). Accordingly, an examination of the website reveals that https://universalhealthct.org is affiliated to Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut and Connecticut Health Advancement and Research Trust. The organization publishes articles that cover a range of topics about health and universal healthcare. For instance, there is an article that reads "Curbing Unfair Drug Prices: A Primer for States" which discusses the issues of skyrocketing prices of prescriptions drugs in the country. Distinguished scholars from Yale University authored the paper. This strengthens the authority in that individuals who wrote the articles are accomplished in the field. The fact that the organization is affiliated with one of the foremost public-oriented organizations in the country creates authority for this publication in matters relating to health. For this reason, the website content can be considered as commanding sufficient authority needed for it to make health-related publications as an avenue of educating readers.
Authority also can be seen in the credibility of the organization. For instance, it should be clear who developed the website, their contact details, credentials of authors of publications that have been published by the website. According to the details provided on the website, it is evident that the organization has a board of directors and other senior employees. Besides, one can trace the physical address of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut to 290 Pratt Street, Meriden, CT 06450. As a result, it can be said that the website relates to an organization that has a physical existence. Given this, its publications can be regarded as having authority because they can not only be attributed to people but also a credible institution which readers can always refer if they want to ascertain the validity of the publications.
The accuracy of information is assured when facts, statistics, and sources are cited (Mogul 1-2). The accuracy of information on a website can be realized when the articles published refer to other credible documents in taking positions about a given issue. For instance, the information provided in the paper titled "Unfair Drug Prices: A Primer for States," the authors from Yale University have built their argument on literature that has been published regarding the topic in prestigious journals. This is essential as it makes the readers feel that information on the website is not a creation of its authors but a comprehensive reference to other academicians who have dealt with the topic before. Such characteristic depicts the website as a credible source of information as it contains facts that have been captured elsewhere.
The other aspect of accuracy that the website has met is that the referenced material can be easily accessed if the reader wishes to do so. When authors of articles make an argument, they provide a source of facts and statistics and a link is often provided within the article. For example, the article "Some First Steps Proposed to Help Undocumented People Access Health Care" provided a link to which one can access the statistics which suggest that in 2014, undocumented taxpayers collectively contributed approximately 145.2 million in taxes to local and state taxes. The reader can quickly verify this information through a link provided. Such an effort to show the source of information implies that authors back their arguments based on evidence rather than personal opinions that are often difficult to verify. This is an excellent show of the accuracy of information on the website.
The purpose defines the reason for creating the website in the first place. Some websites may be formed to entertain, sell products or inform the readers about a given issue in society. The website in this case study was meant to inform society about the need for universal health care. When the reader navigates through the website, articles, events, and activities advocating for access to healthcare by all residents of Connecticut is easily noticeable. It does not deviate from its core mandate. This suggests that adheres to its purpose.
In conclusion, websites can be evaluated using five parameters; currency, accuracy, relevancy, authority, and purpose. Information that is contained in the website is assessed to gauge whether it meets the basic standards of the listed parameters. During the examination of the website selected, it was established that information on the website was relevant, accurate, and current. The information also showed authority and purpose. Overall, the website provided quality information.
Armstrong, Sara, and Pamela Brunskill. Information Literacy: Separating Fact from Fiction. Teacher Created Materials, 2017.
Dalhousie University. "6 Criteria for Websites." cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/library/CoreSkills/6_Criteria_for_Websites.pdf.
Mogull, Scott A. "Accuracy of cited "facts" in medical research articles: A review of study methodology and recalculation of quotation error rate." PLOS ONE, vol. 12, no. 9, 2017, p. e0184727.
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