Report: From Credibility to Information Quality

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is pleased to share a substantial new report from the Youth and Media project:
Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality by Urs Gasser, Sandra Cortesi, Momin Malik, & Ashley Lee.

Building upon a process- and context-oriented information quality framework, this paper seeks to map and explore what we know about the ways in which young users of age 18 and under search for information online, how they evaluate information, and how their related practices of content creation, levels of new literacies, general digital media usage, and social patterns affect these activities. A review of selected literature at the intersection of digital media, youth, and information quality—primarily works from library and information science, sociology, education, and selected ethnographic studies—reveals patterns in youth’s information-seeking behavior, but also highlights the importance of contextual and demographic factors both for search and evaluation.To access the full report, please visit:

Key Findings:

1. Search shapes the quality of information that youth experience online.
2. Youth use cues and heuristics to evaluate quality, especially visual and interactive elements.
3. Content creation and dissemination foster digital fluencies that can feed back into search and evaluation behaviors.
4. Information skills acquired through personal and social activities can benefit learning in the academic context.

“Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality” lays the foundation and raises questions for further explorations in this area. The report also encourages a public policy discussion on youth, digital media, and information quality issues. We hope you will take the time to review the report, to build upon it, and to share it with interested colleagues and networks.

We wish to thank all of our wonderful collaborators at the Berkman Center, our friends at the Havard Law School Library, and the participants of a workshop on information quality for valuable contributions and their important work in the field. The report builds upon research enabled by generous grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Available Material:

One Page Summary [PDF]: [YaM] From Credibility to Information Quality_1 Page Summary_02202012_FINAL

Executive Summary [PDF]: [YaM] From Credibility to Information Quality_Executive Summary_02202012_FINAL

Full Report [PDF]:

Podcast: [YaM] From Credibility to Information Quality_02222012_FINAL

Information Quality Infographic: Full Size Image

“Coached to Poach” Infographic: Full Size Image

“Use it or lose it” Blogpost: Link