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How do I evaluate a website?
The Internet can be a great tool for doing research, but it is necessary to evaluate websites to ensure their quality and accuracy. Below are some aspects to consider.
Key Areas to Review
- Is the information reliable and correct?
- Is there an editor who verifies the information?
Anyone can publish anything on the web, and there are no web standards for accuracy.
- Is there an author? What are his or her qualifications?
- What is the sponsoring organization? Is it reputable?
- Is the domain appropriate for the search (.edu, .com, .gov, .org, .net, etc.)?
Look for links providing information about the author and his or her e-mail address.
Check for "about us," "philosophy," etc. for information about the organization.
- Does the website show a minimum of bias?
- Is there advertising on the page?
- What is the purpose of the site? To sell, to inform, to persuade?
- Does the site include the dates it was created and updated?
- How current are the links? Have any expired or moved?
Consider if currency is especially important for the research topic.
- How does the site compare with other sites on this topic?
- Is material covered in depth rather than superficially?
- Is there a balance of text and images?
- Is the site readily viewable, not needing special software or requiring a fee?
The site should contribute something unique to the subject.
Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask
Video: Evaluating Web Sites