A blog that deals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, among other mental health conditions and things related to veterans, is called Operation Military Family” and is created by a man called “Nick”, with no last name provided or other information other than the fact that he was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds for his service in the Iraq battle and was deployed four years ago, meaning 2009. There is no indication of the date the content was uploaded and there is no information as per any updates. The views presented in the blog and statistical facts are not referenced, therefore are considered unreliable and invalid. Moreover, going through the site’s “About Us” page, it becomes obvious that it is a military customized product lines business, therefore I would personally not want to retrieve facts from them, as they stand a good chance of providing biased information or promotional information. Most of the recommended websites are governmental sites or organizations that provide information about PTSD, however there are some unreliable sources as well and the same goes for the recommended books. Finally, the post’s presentation is rather satisfactory and there are no grammar or syntax errors; yet, the first line of the post is wrongly put, which downsizes the overall look of the site and gives a hint of its reliability, since a serious author would never leave such a mirror, yet, mistake, be.
The second source under the microscope is a video found in YouTube, under the title “PTSD by the Numbers: Battling Post Traumatic Stress”, posted from ABC News, the known news channel. The facts presented and numbers are referenced, the incidents mentioned are true and there is no evident bias on the way they are presented. Of course, the news reported responsible for the news report uses words to drive emotion, as a kind of call for action, which should be avoided, since the importance of information and its credibility comes from solid facts, rather than exquisitely selected wording to create emotion.
The third and final website that has been tested for its reliability, is a podcast titled “Serving Service Members and Veterans with PTSD”, created by Miguel Angel Ruiz. The podcast is about returning service members from the Afghanistan and Iraq war that are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The author’s credentials are clearly shown in the website. However, he is a Family and Marriage Therapist and is dealing with a field that a psychologist would be more appropriate to talk about, given than a PTSD is related to mental health conditions. That fact, makes me question the validity of the information presented. The date the information was posted is mentioned; yet, not updates, so we are provided with information from 2009. The facts and numbers heard from the ex-veteran in the podcast are not referenced, therefore we cannot be sure where he got them. Moreover, he is just reproducing facts that he has most likely read or found in a web search.
Web-based information has a direct influence in global citizenship. Since global citizens “need the knowledge, attitudes, and skills required to function in their ethnic and cultural communities and beyond their cultural borders” (Banks, 2004), web-based information should be reliable and distinguished by unbiased offer of information and validity in any way. Moreover, global citizens need to be enabled to participate in the construction of global civic culture (Banks, 2004), and form communities distinguished by morals and just, promoting the values and ideals of democracy (Banks, 2004), which in turns highlights the necessity of having reliable sources supplying the world wide web with valid and useful information that will make individuals effective citizens in the global community.
According to articles posted in the official webpages of Georgetown University and Northern Michigan University, evaluating internet sources would need to include numerous parameters. The four most significant ones in my opinion are as followed:
- The purpose of the created page is significant, as we cannot rely on a webpage that is intended to promote or sell (Georgetown University Library).
- Objectivity is also important, since any sign of bias, either in the form of writing or the author’s affiliation with an institution that clearly affects the information given in the page, diminishes credibility (Georgetown University Library).
- Last, but not least, coverage is perhaps the most important factor to determine a page’s reliability. It is significant to understand if the page is just summarizing other viewpoints and if the particular view presented in the site fits on the continuum, or if there is bias on it (Northern Michigan University).
Northern Michigan University, Evaluating Internet Sources: A Library Resource Guide. Last update 2009. Retrieved from: http://library.nmu.edu/guides/userguides/webeval.htm>
Georgetown University Library, Evaluating Internet Resources, n.d. Retrieved from: http://www.library.georgetown.edu/tutorials/research-guides/evaluating-internet-content
Operation Military Family, Mental Health Guide, n.d. Retrieved from: http://operationmilitaryfamily.com/mental-health/
Minguel Angel Ruiz, Serving Service Members and Veterans with PTSD, 2009. Retrieved from: http://miguelangelruiz.webs.com/apps/videos/videos/show/3801353
Banks J. A. (ed.), Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives , Jossey – Bass, 2004