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Evaluate a Website

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

Introduction

Why do I Need to Evaluate a Website?

  • Many people believe that everything is on the Internet. Big mistake!
  • The sources that are on the Internet are not always reliable.
  • 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.

Introducing the ABC's

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 lay person, 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?
  • 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 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 like print sources?