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Project 4: Accessible Framework for Determining Credibility and Trustworthiness


This is one of the five sub-projects under the CulturAll 2.0 Network, a national multi-sector network funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage  and led by the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, developing innovative approaches and tools to ensure that everyone in Canada can participate in Canadian cultural exchange online..


Project summary:

One of the primary concerns with participatory Web applications is the credibility of the information. These applications are frequently relied upon for important information. One benefit of Web 2.0 is that anyone can produce content; on the other hand, a big weakness of Web 2.0 is that anyone can produce content! Despite the importance of critical evaluation in this environment, few general-purpose mechanisms have been developed to help standard users assess credibility of online information in standard contexts, and even fewer exist to support “atypical” interactions. Many existing models and tools rely on vision and visual information. There is a need to develop a framework and mechanisms to assist in the assessment of credibility that will not be limited to specific evaluation modalities, such as vision.


We, at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information, are developing a framework for community support for credibility assessment on the Web. With the help of people who experience the Web in diverse and alternative ways, we seek to develop an inclusive online community infrastructure. This will consist primarily of an accessible, interactive website where members will be able to evaluate and discuss other websites and credibility in general. It will be possible for anyone to add links to pages on the Web for the community to rate or evaluate, and discuss. We are also simultaneously designing and developing supporting tools for the community, for example, a server/agent and browser plug-in for rating or inquiring about web pages, and will be testing it within the community throughout its development. Members will be able to contact others in the community online with queries about specific websites as also make use of the collective intelligence  through user-friendly interfaces (here is a use  case scenario of the proposed system).


In building this community, we are using a participatory approach. Particularly, we are consulting people who experience the web via different assistive technologies, especially people who use a screen reader. We invite you to participate in the design process by letting us know some features you would like to have on this website or by voicing your thoughts about this project. If you use an assistive technology to access the Web, we welcome your suggestions to make the website usable for you. Please write to us at the email address credibility2.0@gmail.com.


Key researchers 


Stephen Hockema

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Information

University of Toronto



Sambhavi Chandrashekar

Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Information

University of Toronto





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