Internet information triangulation: Design theory and prototype evaluation

Fons Wijnhoven, Michel Brinkhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Many discussions exist regarding the credibility of information on the Internet. Similar discussions happen on the interpretation of social scientific research data, for which information triangulation has been proposed as a useful method. In this article, we explore a design theory—consisting of a kernel theory, meta-requirements, and meta-designs—for software and services that triangulate Internet information. The kernel theory identifies 5 triangulation methods based on Churchman's inquiring systems theory and related meta-requirements. These meta-requirements are used to search for existing software and services that contain design features for Internet information triangulation tools. We discuss a prototyping study of the use of an information triangulator among 72 college students and how their use contributes to their opinion formation. From these findings, we conclude that triangulation tools can contribute to opinion formation by information consumers, especially when the tool is not a mere fact checker but includes the search and delivery of alternative views. Finally, we discuss other empirical propositions and design propositions for an agenda for triangulator developers and researchers. In particular, we propose investment in theory triangulation, that is, tools to automatically detect ethically and theoretically alternative information and views.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-701
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2014


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