Answered By: Alison Jones
Last Updated: Aug 31, 2017     Views: 1

 

What are the criteria for evaluating web pages?
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Purpose/Objectivity
  • Currency
  • Completeness of coverage

Authority:

Questions to ask:

  • Who wrote the page?
  • Are the author’s credentials given?
  • Is contact information given?
  • Who sponsored the page?

What to look for?

  • Author’s name at top or bottom of page or at end of an article.
  • Biographical information on the author or his affiliations.
  • Contact information given such as address, email address or phone     number.
  • Is the sponsor of the page mentioned? Look at the domain in the URL.  Generally .gov, .edu, and .org sites are most reliable.
  • Is the site a commercial internet provider such as such as AOL, Mindspring, MSN or an online community such as Geocities, Tripod, Angelfire?     Individuals often put their personal web pages on these sites. They may have a tilde (~) in the URL which indicates personal pages on a larger website.  Use these sites with much caution.

 

Accuracy:

Questions to ask?
  • Does the author have a knowledge of the topic?
  • Does the author provide references or a bibliography ?
  • Are there a variety of sources?  If only one source, use this site with caution.   
  • Is the language the technical language of the discipline or popular language of everyday usage? What about the spelling and grammar? Is it correct?
What to look for?
  • Look at the citations, links or bibliography. 
  • Are the resources used scholarly and reputable sources or popular, reviews or news articles?
  • Notice the language.  Is it very easy or technical?  
  • Do the links used work?


Purpose/Objectivity:

Questions to ask?
  • What is the purpose of the web page? Educational, entertainment, persuasion, advertising or sales, informational?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Can you detect any bias? Controversial opinions with only one side of an issue presented?
  • Is this information on the page influenced by any advertising or sponsoring agency?
What to look for?
  • Look again at the purpose of the page in the mission statement or “About this page”.  Can you see any bias or particular advocacy or belief that is central to the mission?
  • Who is the audience? Children, academic researchers, general public, or shoppers? Is the vocabulary easy to read or the more professional or technical language of a discipline?
  • Is the information presented inflammatory, one-sided and  controversial? Or is it balanced and covers opposing sides of an issue?

 

Currency:

Questions to ask?
  • Depending on the discipline, currency may or may not be an issue.  In the sciences, medicine, technology, or business, currency can be critical.
  • Is the information on the page current or outdated ?
  • Are the links still working and current?

What to look for?
  • Is it current in comparison to other resources?
  • Notice the resources cited.  Are they older and from about the same time period?  That could mean that the page has not been updated.
  • Check the page for the date published or last date the page was updated.
  • Check some of the links.  Are they working? Dead links can be a sign of a page that is not being maintained.

 

Completeness of Coverage:

Questions to ask?
  • What aspects of the topic are covered?  Is there any vital information on the topic omitted?
  • Is the material just a short review, an opinion statement, a report of research, or an in-depth study?
  • Is the coverage comprehensive or does it cover just a certain time period or aspect?

What to look for?
  • What aspects of the topic are covered?  Is there any vital information on the topic that is omitted?
  • Is the material just a short review, an opinion statement, a report of research, or an in-depth study?
  • Is the coverage comprehensive or does it cover just a certain time period or aspect?

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