Evaluating Resources

Resource Evaluation
: The Internet contains a huge amount of information, but much of it is inaccurate or inappropriate for student research. By learning to analyze websites for authority, accuracy, objectivity and currency, we can use the Internet more effectively for assignments as well as for personal information needs.



                                         Click to view prezi tutorial.

Webpage Evaluation Checklist

  • Authority-Who is the author and why is he/she/it an expert on the subject?
  • Accuracy-How does this information compare to what you have found in other sources?
  • Objectivity-Does the page explain why the page exists in any way?
  • Currency-Is the page up-to-date? Is this time-sensitive information?

Step 1: Look at the URL and ask yourself these questions:

Is this a personal page?

  • If there are ~,% or a person's name in the URL, it is generally a personal page.

What is the Domain?

  • More reliable addresses are .edu, .gov/.mil/.us, .org

Who is the Publisher?

  • This can sometimes be found in the URL by truncating the URL back to the domain
  •  Or open the page and look for "About Us," "Philosophy," "Background," Biography," or "Who am I."

Step 2: Authority:

  • Who wrote the page? Author, organization, institute, agency or whatever?
  • Who claims responsibility for the page?
  • What are the author's credentials on this subject?
  • Could this be a hobby page, self-proclaimed expert or enthusiast?
  • Is it Opinion, a Rant, Extreme View, Possibly Distorted, Exaggerated?
  • Did the author document his/her sources? Bibliography?
  • Does the author or publisher have a reputation?

Step3: Accuracy:

  • What do other sources say?
  • Was this linked to another page?

Step 4: Objectivity:

  • Does it explain why the page exists in any way?
  •  What do you know about the organization publishing the website?

Step 5: Currency:

  • Is the page current enough?
  • Is it old information on a time-sensitive or evolving topic?
  • CAUTION: undated  factual or statistical information is not better than anonymous information, DO NOT USE IT!! 
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