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Library Research Skills: Evaluating Internet Sources: DAPPR Test in Action

Research Scenario

You have a research paper due in your English B1A class. The umbrella topic is controversial issues in America. Your focused topic is the health concerns of vaccine hesitancy and the anti-vax movement in America. While doing online research, you come across this article about the flu shot vaccine. Before you go any further, you must evaluate the article using the DAPPR Test. 

Your News Wire

Date

Since the topic of the article deals with a medical issue, it needs to have been posted within the last five years.

Since the date is 2018, the information is current.

DAPPR Score: 3

Author

There is some information about the author, Baxter Dimtry, at the bottom of the article. However,  it is short on relevant facts. Most importantly, his educational and professional background is omitted. A Google search of his name does not reveal any additional credentials. However, the Google search does reveal fact checking sits that list him as an author of fake news stories. Nothing about this individual suggest he is qualified to write on this subject.

DAPPR Score: 0

Publisher/Website

The news organization, Your News Wire, appears to be owned by a company called The People's Voice. There is no "About Us" anywhere on the site. However, a simple Google search reveals that there is some information on their Facebook page:

The fact that this information is not on Your News Wire is not a good sign. It is clear that they are not a mainstream news organization and that strive to cover stories outside the box. More importantly, however, is that nothing about their organization indicates that they are qualified to write about a medical related topic. 

DAPPR Score: 1

Purpose

Your News Wire is a .com site, which means it is commercial. This does not give us any insight, because a .com can be anything. This means that we need to look closely at the "About Us" and determine what their purpose is. With author, we determined that Your News Wire was created to counter mainstream media. They are purposely posting articles that fall outside of the norm. They do not mention anything about reporting only the facts. This suggests that they are more geared towards theories and opinions rather than factual reporting. 

DAPPR Score: 0

Relevance

At first glance this article seems to confirm the dangers of vaccines listed by the Anti-Vax movement. However, the article lacks analysis and the depth needed for the college level. The article is not well-researched and the information is very surface level. It does not contain hard scientific evidence or scholarly analysis. The article also does not focus on the actual movement itself.

In addition, Media Bias Fact Check lists Your News Wire as conspiracy/pseudoscience. Factcheck.org lists them as a fake news site. 

DAPPR Score: 1

Final Verdict

This article fails in every section but date.  The author and website are not qualified to make such a claim or write on this topic. They are listed as questionable and fake news on reliable fact checking sites. Their purpose is to clearly spread conspiracies and propaganda. The article lacks depth and is not well-researched. In fact, the sources listed fail to properly back up their claim that the flu shot is causing people to die.

Final DAPPR SCORE: 5

This source's information cannot be verified and should NOT be used in college-level research.