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Evaluating Web Sites

The number and variety of resources on the Internet is phenomenal. Companies, organizations, educational institutions and individual people add information daily. However, not everything available on the Internet is acceptable to use for academic research projects.

Did you know that?

Before you use a Web site for a research project, make sure that it passes your evaluation according to the following criteria: Authority, Purpose, Currency, Accuracy, and Ease of Use.


Authority

Examples

Pass Fail

Author clearly indicated

No author or sponsor indicated or described

Sponsor prominently displayed

Author not an expert

Sponsor's credentials prominently displayed

Author's credentials not stated

 

Purpose

Examples

Pass Fail

Informational Web site

Website with a bias

Organization Web site

Web site primarily commercial, not informational

 

Currency

Examples

Pass Fail

Copyright date indicated

No date

Last revision indicated

No date of any kind indicated

 

Accuracy

Examples

Pass Fail

Sources for facts clearly indicated

Sources for facts not indicated

Factual Web site

Opinion (personal) Web site

 

Ease of Use

Examples

Pass
Fail

Well organized Web site

Poorly organized site

Search This Site option provided

Large site, no way to search for a topic

Graphics enhance the content

Graphics do not enhance the content

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