Web Site Evaluation

Before using a website for your research, you should evaluate it by answering the questions listed below. If you find yourself struggling to answer more than a few of the questions, it is a good indication that the web site you found is not of the highest quality and probably shouldn’t be used

Who is the author of the site?
What are the author’s credentials, how do you know that s/he is an expert?
What organization sponsors the site?
(Hint: Look at the URL – is the sponsoring organization recognizable?)

Point of View/Objectivity
Look at the domain (i.e., .com, .org, .edu). What does that tell you about the site?
What is the purpose of the website (i.e., to inform, to persuade, to entertain, etc.)?
Does anything you’ve found suggest that the author or sponsoring organization is biased or looking to promote their own agenda?

Are the authors’ sources well-documented? Can you tell where s/he got the information included on the site?
Can the information provided be validated by other resources?
Does the site link to other quality websites?
Does the information provided make sense based on your prior knowledge of the topic?

Is the website free of spelling and grammatical errors?
Are the text and graphics easy to read?
Is the site easy to navigate?

Is the site consistently available?
Are most of the links included on the site working properly?

Currency of Information
When was the site last updated?
When was the information on the site written?
Does the information seem current?