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Criteria for Web Site Evaluation   Tags: internet, research_tips, undergraduate, web, web_site_evaluation  

Here are some tips on how to evaluate web site information.
Last Updated: Jul 11, 2013 URL: http://guides.lib.umich.edu/content.php?pid=30524 Print Guide RSS Updates
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Evaluating Web Sites

Questions to Consider When Evaluating the Content of a Web Site


Evaluate the Intention of the Web site

WHY was the Web site created?

  • What purpose does the site serve? Information, entertainment, profit?
  • What does the author get out of it? A laugh, a job, joy?
  • What does the purpose tell you about the reliability of the information?

What OPINION does this site represent?

  • What point is emphasized by the web site? Is it reasonable?
  • Is the tone reasonably objective or fanatical?
  • What is conspicuously missing (if anything)? Do you see logical errors or issues that have been avoided for no apparent reason?

Evaluate the Relevance of the Site

How old is the web site or page?
  • Can you tell when the page was posted to the web?
  • Have the authors ever changed the content?
  • Does it matter?
  • Does timeliness matter to the subject of your paper or project?

Evaluate the Reliability of the Site

WHO created the site?

  • Can you tell? Does anyone claim authorship?
  • Who do the authors work for? What are their credentials?
  • Have you ever heard of them? Name recognition is important.
How GOOD is the Information?
  • How does the information fit in with what you already know?
  • Have the authors edited the page for spelling and grammar?
  • How much does the web site rely on graphics to distract you from the text?
How Well Documented is the Work?
  • Can you find a bibliography? Do the sources seem scholarly?
  • Do the links work?
  • Do the links seem to be scholarly?

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