Guide to Evaluating Web Sites


Website Evaluation Criteria

 

Use the following questions to critically evaluate print and Web based information.

 

Accuracy or credibility

Is the information provided based on proven facts?

Is it published in a scholarly or peer-reviewed publication?

Have you found similar information in a scholarly or peer-reviewed publication?

Author or authority

Who is the author?

Is she or he affiliated with a reputable university or organization?

What is the author's educational background or experience?

What is their area of expertise?

Has the author published in scholarly or peer reviewed publications?

Does the author/webmaster provide contact information?

Coverage or relevance

Does the information covered meet your information needs?

Is the coverage basic or comprehensive?

Is there an "About Us" link that explains subject coverage?

How relevant is it to your research interests?

Currency

When was the information published?

When was the Web site was last updated. 

Is timeliness important to your information needs?

Objectivity or bias

How objective or biased is the information?

What do you know about who is publishing this information?

Is there a political, social or commercial agenda?

Does the information try to inform or persuade?

How balanced is the presentation on opposing perspectives?

What is the tone of language used (angry, sarcastic, balanced, educated)?

Sources or documentation

Is there a list of references or works cited?

is there a bibliography?

Is there information provided to support statements of fact?

Can you contact the author or webmaster to ask for, and receive, the sources used?

Publication and 
Website design

How well designed is the Web site?

Is the information clearly focused?

How easy to use is the information?

How easy is it to find information within the publication or Web site?

Are the bibliographic references and links accurate, current, credible and relevant?

Are the contact addresses for the author(s) and webmaster(s) available from the site?


Click here
for links to several evaluation guidelines