Evaluating Web Sites
Types of Sites:
- Personal pages
- Promotional (to sell something)
- Current–provides up-to-date information
- Informational to share information on a particular topic or hobby
- Who is responsible for the page?
- What are their qualifications? Can you verify them?
- Check the footer at the bottom of the page for author information.
- Are the dates clear when the Web site was first created and last edited?
- Check the footer for information on when the site was last edited.
- Check the content to see if the site is being actively maintained.
- What is the coverage of the site?
- Are there clear headings to illustrate an outline of the content?
- Is the navigation clear?
- Check the header for a clear title and Web site description.
- Are the biases clearly stated?
- Are the affiliations clear?
- Check the content for a statement of purpose.
- Check to see the type of Web site and potential audience. (Entertainment sites are generally not a good source of information of a scientific nature. Science web sites are not good for information on entertainment.)
- Check the domain (i.e. .gov, .com, .edu) to determine the organizational source of the Web site and how this reflects on the content type.
- Are sources of information and factual data listed and available for crosschecking?
- Check the content for accuracy of spelling, grammar, and facts.
- Check the content for a bibliography of other Web sites, print data, and other references.
From the Daniel A. Reed Library. Used with permission.