EVALUATING WEBSITES Laura Brody Library Media Center 2010
Central Question: Why is it essential to evaluate a website before using it? Answer: To ensure that the information you are using for your research is credible, accurate, and relevant.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN EVALUATING A WEBSITE: Who is the author? What is the purpose? Is it current? Is it accurate? Is it objective? Is it relevant?
Author Who wrote the pages? Are they an expert in their field? Is there a biography of the author? Is there contact information for the author?
Purpose What is the intent or purpose of the site? What information is the author trying to communicate? Is the website educational, commercial, personal, governmental, institutional? Tip: Check the website extension: .gov (governmental), .org (organizational), .com (commercial), .edu (educational), etc.
Current When was the website originally created? When was it last updated? Are there broken links on the site?
Accurate Can the information be double-checked in another source? Is there a list of references? Are there more than a couple of grammar or spelling mistakes? Do the links to other pages lead to credible sources?
Objective Does the information seem biased or slanted towards one point of view? Is the website trying to persuade you in any way?
Relevant Is the information on the website useful for your topic? Does this website contain some new or different information from other sites?
Conclusion The Internet is filled with dubious websites containing inaccurate and misleading information. SO… It is essential to evaluate each website to ensure that the information you are using is credible, accurate, and relevant!
WORKS CITED Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Library. Website Evaluation Checklist. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2010. <http://library.acphs.edu/ PDFs/Website%20Evaluation%20Checklist.pdf>. The Jackalope Conspiracy. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2010. <http://www.sudftw.com/jackcon.htm>. Schrock, Kathy. ABC's of Web Site Evaluation. N.p., 15 Jan. 2007. Web. 11 Mar. 2010. <http://kathyschrock.net/abceval/>. Tate, Marsha, and Jan Alexander. "Teaching Critical Evaluation Skills for World Wide Web Resources." Internet Librarian (Nov.-Dec. 1996): 49-55. Web. 11 Mar. 2010. University of Maryland. University Libraries. “Evaluating Websites." Guides to Information Resources. University of Maryland, 16 Feb. 2007. Web. 11 Mar. 2010. <http://www.lib.umd.edu/guides/evaluate.html>.