Checklist for Evaluating webpages
The greater number of questions that can be answered with a YES, the more likely the site has reliable/accurate content.
- Is it clear what person, organization, or institution is sponsoring the site?
- Are the credentials or qualifications of the individual or organization provided?
- Is contact information given - including name, email, phone number and address?
- Can you verify the legitimacy of the sponsor through printed sources?
- Does the author give his or her purpose for providing the information?
- Does the author have an agenda or bias? (This may be subtle.)
- Does the site blend information with advertising?
- Are editorials or opinion pieces labeled as such?
- Is the intended audience stated?
- Can factual content be verified from another source? Are citations given?
- Does the text follow standard rules of grammar and spelling?
- Is there a date of publication or revision? Is it current?
- Are links up-to-date?
- Is it clear what topics the page plans to address?
- Does the page succeed at addressing these topics?
- Has important information been left out?
The Domain name within the website's Uniform Resource Locator (URL) can provide clues to the reliability or possible bias of a website. The URL can be found in the "Address" bar in your browser. The most commonly used domains are:
influence pubic opinion,sell ideas
sell or promote products
provide extremely current information
present factual information
.edu or .gov
For an in-depth look at evaluating internet sources, see: Alexander, Jan and Marsha Tate. Evaluating Web Resources. Available online: http://www.widener.edu/about/campus_resources/wolfgram_library/evaluate
The Desire Project. The Internet Detective an interactive tutorial on evaluating the quality of Internet resources. Available online: http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/detective/