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Website Evaluation

 

1. Assessing the Accuracy

  • Reliability: Is the author’s affiliation a known, respectable institution?

  • References: Do facts and statistics receive appropriate references to their source?

  • Is a reference list included?

  • Is the information provided correct and free of errors?

  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical mistakes?

  • Are the facts comparable to those you have encountered on other websites on the same subject?

  • Are the web links on the site quality sources?

2. Assessing the Authority

  • Who is the author of the site?

  • What is their affiliation (connection with an institution)?

  • What are their expertise and experience?

  • What are their credentials?

  • Is there contact information for the author/organization?

  • What does the domain indicate about the source?

  • .ca – Canadian-based website

  • .gov– American government

  • .edu– American educational institution or affiliate

  • .org– Organizations or special interest groups, usually non-profit

  • .com, .net, .biz– Companies and other

3. Assessing the Objectivity

  • What bias (explicit or implied) does the page contain?

  • Are there any opinions stated or implied?

  • Is information presented objectively?

  • What is the intent of the advertisement; does advertising conflict with the content?

  • Who is the intended audience?

4. Assessing the Purpose

  • Is the purpose of the site clear?

  • Is the purpose teaching, informing, persuading or entertaining?

  • Does the site content support its purpose?

  • Who is the audience?

  • Does the site evaluate outside links it provides?

5. Assessing the Currency

  • Is the information current and regularly updated?

  • When was the page first created?

  • When was the information last revised?

  • Are links up-to-date and working?

6. Assessing the Coverage & Relevance

  • Does the site contain comprehensive or selective information?

  • How in-depth is the coverage?

  • Is the information useful and related to your topic?

  • Does the information answer your question(s)?

  • Do the links connect to outside sites?

  • Compare the usefulness of the site’s information to other sites on similar topics.