Evaluating Websites

Why evaluate a website?

You need to evaluate a website before you decide that the website is correct for research

Anyone can publish a website

The web is an open environment and no one will review the information once it is published.

How do you evaluate a website?

  • What does the URL say about the purpose of a website?
  • .com=business/marketing, e-commerce
  • .mil=military site
  • .edu=academic, college/university
  • .gov=U.S. government produced
  • .net=network
  • .org=organization, may be charitable, religious or a lobbying group
  • ~ (tilde) indicates personal Web page

Ask Yourself

  • What are the goals of the website?
  • Is the web site biased or objective?
  • Is the topic covered detailed? Does it look like a quality website? Does it look useful?
  • Is the author or organization listed?
  • Is the author of the website credible? Does the author have education or credentials listed?
  • Is the organization well known?
  • Is the content of the web page accurate and relevant?
  • Does the website list where the information was obtained?
  • Verify the facts of the website with other sources such as an instructor, librarian or through authoritative books
  • Verify the creation and revision dates of the website
  • Is there an “about us” or “contact us” on the website?