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Evaluating Web Resources

Areas and Questions to Consider

Authority & Credibility
  • Who publishes this web page?
  • What makes the author(s) an authority on this subject?
  • Does the author(s) cite his/her experience/credentials?
  • Are they accredited or endoresed by a reputable organization?
  • If the site contains articles, do they contain footnotes? If so, does material taken from other sources appear to be fully credited?
Scope, Coverage, and Relevance
  • Who is the intended audience - general, specialized readership, scholars, etc.?
  • What is the level of the material - basic, advanced, etc.?
  • What time period is covered?
  • What geographical area is covered?
  • Is this information a subset of a more comprehensive source? If so, who abridged it and why?
Bias and Accuracy
  • How is the information presented - fact, opinion, propaganda, etc.?
  • If presented as fact, is it accurate?
  • Is there a bias - cultural, political, religious, etc.?
  • If so, is the bias clearly stated?
Currency / Timeliness
  • Is there a date on the web page? If so, how current is the date?
  • How frequently is the web site updated?
  • Is some of the information obviously out of date?
  • What was the quality of the research methodology?
  • Did it use accepted methodologies for its field, insofar as you know?
  • What is the validity?
  • Is the article clearly written and well-organized?
  • Is new research being reported or is the author reviewing previously conducted research?
  • Does the author agree or disagree with the majority iof other scholars in the discipline?
  • Is this the first article of its kind within its discipline?
  • Is the presenter selling something - a product, a philosophy, himself / herself?
  • Does the page have a corporate sponsor?
  • Are there any hidden costs?
  • Do you have to enter personal identification in order to proceed?
copyright Aline Soules 2011
under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States