Assessing and Citing Academic Online Resources

Basic Principles*

Authority -- Who owns/operates the server/site? Where is it located?
Coverage -- Is the material relevant?
Objectivity and Accuracy -- How accurate, objective, balanced is the site?
Currency -- Is the information up to date?
* originally cited from Virginia Tech website archived at the Internet Archive: 


Who Has Already Validated the Site?

An important validation tool is to determine who links to the site in question. Those who have included links to the site on their own home sites have made the decision to stake their reputation on the site by referring others to that location. It is analogous to placing a citation in a published article.

To determine who has linked to the site in question, use one of the large search engines to look for links to the URL. For example, to see who has linked to Ray's Online Learning home, go to Google Search Engine and enter into the search box the phrase (do not include quotation marks and do not include any spaces) 

This will return pages in the Google database which include links to Ray's Online home at UIS. In turn, one can visit the sites which have elected to link to Ray' blog to see the range and nature of those who, themselves, have validated the site.


Sampling of Guides to Evaluating Online Resources

Evaluating Web Pages Checklist - UC Berkeley





Citing Internet Sources



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