What do we mean by Information Forensics?
Forensic sciences are typically involved in legal cases. For example, Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) often involves forensic pathology to determine a cause of death in a criminal case. Dental forensics is used to reveal the identify of a body. The results of a forensic investigation are used to establish a case for innocence or guilt in court.
The purpose of Web Site Investigation (WSI) is quite different. There are two main interests: finding facts that can be used to
- determine the credibility of the information, and
- cite the information.
As part of the research process, information forensics is used to track down the name of an author, determine a publisher's identify, the date of publication and much more. The ultimate purpose is not to prove someone innocent or guilty but to build a case that the information can be trusted.
This is important:
Only information that can be trusted should be included in any research. Otherwise, the research is likely to contain errors.
Information Forensics involves specialized techniques such as truncation and browsing along with specialized databases that help to reveal any of the following pieces of information:
- the identity of an author and publisher
- an author's point of view or purpose in writing
- the date of the publication
- accuracy of claims made
- evidence from external sources that backs up claims made
Knowing whether an author is telling the truth, whether a publisher is selective about what gets published, whether information is current or not or whether other people trust the author are all very important in deciding if information is credible.
Many times, making a good decision requires talking it over with other investigators. Listening to the opinions of others can help you make a better-informed decision.