Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Political Economy Websites: A Researcher’s Guide

Sharma, Abhijit and Woodward, Richard (2001): Political Economy Websites: A Researcher’s Guide. Published in: New Political Economy , Vol. 6, No. 1 (2001): pp. 119-130.

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The Internet is rapidly becoming an indispensable resource for political economists. However, little work has been done to develop criteria through which the academic quality of Internet sites can be assessed. This article attempts to fill this lacuna by reviewing Internet sites concerned with two areas of political economy (global finance (GF) and transnational corporations (TNCs)). It has two main objectives: first, to develop a simple framework with which to analyse the quality of Internet; and secondly to use this framework to indicate those sites which are the most useful sources of information. For this purpose a two-tier set of criteria is used. The first tier deals with issues related to content, on the assumption that it is the content of Internet sites that is the prime determinant of their usefulness to researchers. Those sites that pass the content criteria are assessed in terms of factors considered to be of secondary importance in order to assess usability. Together these criteria are used to assess the utility of reviewed websites concerned with global finance and transnational corporations. These areas are chosen because they are the areas we are researching in and with which we are familiar. Recommendations on the basis of our tests are presented for other researchers.

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