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Criteria Used in Reviewing the Aacap’s Website on Adhd

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Criteria used in reviewing the AACAP’s website on ADHD

The World Wide Web is a vast wealth of information. Determining whether that information is reliable is on the reader. There is a difference in evaluating and reviewing a website. Evaluation judges a document whereas review is the written evaluation of that document. Criteria assist in evaluations by giving the viewer guidelines by which to determine if the material is of value. There are many criteria that one can use when reviewing a website to determine the legitimacy and accuracy of information. Authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency and coverage are five of these criteria. One should choose at least three of these when reviewing a website.  The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) website on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is accurate, current and provides great coverage of the disorder making it a good site for researching the disease.

There are few standards to verify the accuracy of information on the web, therefore it is the reader’s responsibility to assess the information presented. Accuracy refers to how correct the website or document is. In establishing the accuracy of information on the AACAP website the reader must evaluate the organization and determine its credibility. The organization dates back to 1900.  Their mission is the promotion of the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research. One of the AACAP’s goals over the past sixty years has been to improve their transparency by disclosure of information (“ADHD resource center,” 2017).  While the organization is based in Washington D.C., they have regional organizations that support their initiatives and local members and residents that advocate for children's mental health issues. These statistics help to establish the credibility of the organization and therefore its website regarding childhood and adolescent ADHD (“ADHD resource center,” 2017).  Ensuring that the original source of information is scholarly assures accuracy. This can be done when it provides references to the information presented. The reader can then confirm whether the information is accurate and the author's conclusions reasonable (“Evaluating internet sources,” 2017).

The second criteria in evaluating the website is currency. Making sure that the website is current and updated is important to make sure that the information is still accurate as some information is time sensitive. Since there is continuing research being done and new information regarding ADHD being discovered within that research the more current the page the more accurate the information. This particular website states that it was last updated in May of 2017. Another way of confirming the currency of the page is checking the links on the page. A webpage with dead or broken links should cause concerns regarding the currency of the page. The AACAP's website has many active and relevant links to other comprehensive ADHD websites.

The final criteria used in evaluating this site was coverage.  According to Chinn (2015) “Coverage refers to how well the information is presented. When evaluating coverage the reader needs to make sure that the topic is successfully addressed, with clearly presented arguments and support to substantiate that argument.” The site should also substantiate other materials you have read. The AACAP’s site clearly presents information regarding ADHD that can easily be substantiated by visiting many other sites regarding the disorder.  Coverage again takes into account the links. The site contains links to other sources with accurate and viable information regarding ADHD. This site contains a plethora of links from answers to basic questions about ADHD such as causes, signs and symptoms, and treatments, to more in-depth topics such as the brain and ADHD. It provides links to clinical resources, research and training, books and other related websites.

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