Purpose (What and For Who?) Why was the website created? .edu and .gov sites are reliable .com generally exist to sell you something .org sites are okay as long as the purpose is not to convince that an opinion is fact Who is the intended audience? Is there a lot of advertising on the page = Be critical!
Authority (Who?) Is the author’s name easy to find? Is the author an expert on the topic? Is an About Us page included? Does the website have a contact page? .gov, .edu, or .org site?
ABOUT USAmerican Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/
Objectivity (Fact or Opinion?) Why was the webpage created? Is the information fact or just an opinion? Look out for bias Bias = an opinion formed without evidence, facts, or knowledge. List of references?
Currency (When?) When was the webpage written? When was the page last updated? Medical and technology- dates are important Literature and history topics- dates are less important
Coverage(How Much?) Is there enough information for your purpose? Is the information provided appropriate for college research? Can the same information be found from a more credible source?(book, encyclopedia, or journal article)
Design (How?) How is the information arranged? Is it well organized? Is the webpage free of spelling/grammar errors?
A reliable website has: Purpose. If your page was created to educate or help others and… Authority. If your page lists the author credentials and its domain is preferred (.edu, .gov, .org, or .net) and… Objectivity. If your page provides accurate information with limited advertising and it is objective in presenting the information, and . . . Currency. If your page is current and updated regularly (as stated on the page) and the links (if any) are also up-to-date, and . . . Coverage. If your page has enough information to suit your purpose, and … Design If the information is well organized and free of errors then . . . IT HAS CREDIBILITY = A RELIABLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION!
Work CitedKapoun, Jim. "Teaching undergrads Web evaluation: A guide for library instruction." C&RL News (July/August 1998): 522-523.