Skip to main content

Website Evaluation: Overview

Why evaluate websites?

Why it is important to evaluate Internet sites?

  • Anyone can create and publish a website, regardless of subject expertise or knowledge
  • Professional looking sites are easy to create thanks to webpage creation software
  • No standards exist to ensure the quality and accuracy of information on a webpage
  • No review process for websites like those required for Academic print and electronic resources
  • Well-known trustworthy news sites sometime repost blog entries with out their usual fact-checking
  • Many websites are created to persuade people by playing on personal bias, fear, or other strong emotions

For more information

Criteria for Website Evaluation

Use this table to evaluate your website:

CRITERIA

Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Currency

Copyright or last revised date?

 

Is the information on the webpage outdated?

Do the links work?

Authority

Is there an author for the webpage?

 

Is the owner/sponsor of the website reputable? (look for an “About Us” link)

 

 

Are references and/or credentials provided?

Accuracy

Is there an explanation of the research methods used?

 

Are other credible sources of information referred to within the text of the webpage?

Do other sources confirm the information on this site?

Purpose

Is the information fact? Opinion? Propaganda?

 

 

Is the information similar to other information you have found or radically different?

Is there advertising on the site?

Relevance

Does the information add to or support your research?

Does the site provide additional links that are also useful?

Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is the one you will use?

Site ranking:

  Credible website: If you answered "yes" or were able to locate the answers for most of the questions

Red flag website: If you answered "no" or were not able to locate the answers for most the questions