Evaluating Sites


Criteria for Evaluating Web Sites

When you look at information on a website, you need to critically evaluate the site as you would any print medium, keeping the following checklist and the 10 questions in mind.

Authority

Who is the writer of the page?
Can you check his credentials and affiliation? (Check to see if there is a Bibliography of other works by the author or an Email or other contact)
Is there a reputable publisher or organisation hosting the site? (Check the domain eg. edu, gov).


Accuracy

Is the information presented relevant? Does the content reflect the title of the document and its stated purpose?Are there obvious language or grammar errors that would lead you to question the reliability of the information?
Are the sources of information refererred to? Can you check these sources?
What is the purpose of this document and for what audience is it intended?


Objectivity

Does the author of this document present the information factually or does he have a particular opinion he is trying to convince you of?
If so, is this clearly stated and are opposing points of view also presented?
Is there any advertising or sponsorship on the site?


Currency

When was the site created?
Is the site regularly updated? (Check if there are many dead links)
Is the information on the page current or outdated?


Coverage

Is the information original or is it just a list of related links?
Is there a clear indication of new content when the site is updated?
Does the information meet all your needs? If not, are there links to sources within the same web site? Outside the web site? Are these links reliable?


Presentation

Is the information you are looking for easy to find? How many mouse clicks does it take to get to the part you are looking for?
Are the graphics helpful or merely distracting?
Is the site easy to browse? Is there a search option?