Evaluating Online Sources

With the internet continually growing with information, it is necessary to make sure that the website you are using is accurate. This page will give you some questions to allow you to evaluate your internet source:

Content

  • What is the purpose of the website?
  • What is its contribution to the dialog among scholars?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What is the source worth compared to others you’ve found?
  • Is the information covered fully and sufficiently?

Accuracy

  • Is the information the same as that presented by other sources?
  • How reliable and error-free is the information? Is the webpage hosted on Angelfire with a bunch of terrible graphics, or is it an academic website with a .org or .edu ending?
  • Does the author have a specific agenda?
  • Is the information bias?

Source

  • Who is sponsoring the webpage and is it a valid one?
  • Can you find who wrote the page?
  • What are the qualifications of the author?
  • Is the author affiliated with an institution or organization?
  • Is there contact information available for the author?
  • Is there a publication date?
  • When was the page last updated?
  • Are the links on the page live?

Documentation

  • Does the author list his or her sources?

Sources:
Grassian, Esther. "Thinking Critically about World Wide Web Resources." UCLA
Library. UCLA, 2006. Web. 22 June 2011.

Lutgens, Karen. “Evaluating Internet Resources.” Milner Library. Illinois State University, 2002.
Web. 22 June 2011.