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Hints for Evaluating a Web Resource
In the current information environment, it is very important to evaluate every source you find to see if it is something that you can rely on. Especially when dealing with American-based recording/reporting on matters in Hispaniola, both historically and in the present. Here are some rules of thumb to think about when going through a material you find to decide whether or not this is something you want to rely on:
- Is there an author who you can contact with an attached biography?
- Is the sponsoring organization clearly seen on the source? Is there an "About Us" or "FAQ" about the organization that clearly states its aims?
- What are the credentials of the author? If the author is not formally credentialed, what is the author's experience with the subject matter?
- Are the claims in the text cited to other sources? For example, if an author makes a claim about a statistic, do they refer to the study the statistic come from? It does not hurt to check a couple of citations in a source to see if the facts being laid out are facts.
- Does the source lay out its agenda beforehand? For example, a National Rifle Association article from their website has an obvious bias, but that does not discount their findings. It is more a matter of knowing what the author's bias is upfront so you can work between facts and opinions. Remember, biases are not bad in and of themselves, it just helps puts work into context.
- Are the facts up to date?
- When was the last time it was updated?
- Does it attempt to cover possible counterpoints and address them?
6) Emotional Response
- How does it make you feel? Is it written to solicit a strong visceral response? If so, is it "clickbait"?
These are just rules of thumb and do not cover the entirety of how to evaluate a source. If you have any questions or want a one-on-one advanced reference consultation to highlight evaluation strategies, please contact Professor Falcon to set up an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dominican Studies Institute at CCNY
Founded in 1992 and housed at The City College of New York, the Dominican Studies Institute of the City University of New York (CUNY DSI) is the nation's first university-based research institute devoted to the study of people of Dominican descent in the United States and other parts of the world. CUNY DSI's mission is to produce and disseminate research and scholarship about Dominicans, and about the Dominican Republic. CUNY DSI is the locus for a community of scholars, including doctoral fellows, in the field of Dominican Studies and sponsors multidisciplinary research projects.
The Institute houses the Dominican Archives and the Dominican Library, the first and only institutions in the United States collecting primary and secondary source material about people of Dominican descent. In 2010, the Institute opened its Archives and Library facility to art exhibitions, thus becoming the first exhibit space in New York City devoted exclusively to work by and about people of Dominican descent. The Institute organizes lectures, conferences, and exhibitions that are open to the public.
The Institute is headed by renowned sociologist and public intellectual Ramona Hernández, Ph.D., author of pioneering texts in the areas of migration, labor, and Dominican studies. She is a trustee of the Sociological Initiatives Foundation.
The Haitian Studies Institute at Brooklyn College
On May 2, 2016, the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York (CUNY) approved unanimously the creation of the university-wide Haitian Studies Institute housed at Brooklyn College. During that period, the search committee, composed of by a multidisciplinary faculty at Brooklyn College, was about to conclude a series of interviews processes leading to the selection of the founding director of the institute. Professor Jean Eddy Saint Paul in Sociology was officially selected. Then, on August 24, 2016, he was welcomed as the founding director of the CUNY-HSI. Saint Paul brings valuable experiences to this new position and a proven track record of success on studies about Haiti. The institute will benefit greatly from his profound understanding and commitment to higher education and its involvement in cultural knowledge.
Mission of the Haitian Studies Institute
CUNY-HSI is an academic unit aimed to encourage and support studies on Haiti and Haitians living abroad. The institute's main commitment is to engage in analysis and research to better understand policies and projects girded toward Haiti and the Haitian community, and policies that link scholarship programs on Haiti to social actions impacting the lives of Haitian populations and other racial and ethnic communities. The mission of the CUNY-HSI is to contribute to the advancement of the academic field of Haitian studies through interdisciplinary researches and practices. In that prospect, CUNY-HSI is devoted to the process of facilitating community outreach and collaboration with emerging scholars, university professors, students, public school teachers, and educational agencies conducting research and/or serving the Haitian population and other diaspora groups.