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Evaluate a Website: Home

Here are a few points to remember when evaluating the reliability of a website.

Evaluating websites : A critical information skill

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Introduction

Why do I Need to Evaluate a Website?

Many people believe that everything is on the World Wide Web. Big mistake! More importantly, even the sources that are on the World Wide Web are not always reliable. Remember, on the World Wide Web there are no editors to decide what can and cannot be posted. Anyone can put anything on the Web, but the information is not always useful or accurate.  Evaluating your resources is always important, but for websites, it is critical.

Online Resources

ABC's of Evaluating Websites

Audience

  • To whom is the site directed – children, adults, students; a certain ethnicity, gender or political affiliation?
  • Is it understandable by the layman, or is it highly technical requiring specialized knowledge?

Authority

  • Is the author of the site listed?
  • Can you determine his/her expertise?
  • Is contact information given – phone number, address, e-mail?
  • With what organization is he/she associated?

Bias

  • Does the language, tone, or treatment of its subject give the site a particular slant or bias?
  • Is the site objective?
  • Is it designed to sway opinion? Organizational affiliation can often indicate bias.

Currency

  • Is the site up-to-date with working links?
  • Are dates given for when it was created and last updated?
  • Is the topic current?

Scope

  • Is the site an in-depth study of the topic going several pages deep, or is it a superficial, single-page look at the subject?
  • Are statistics and sources referenced properly cited?
  • Does the site offer unique information not found anywhere else, e.g., print sources?