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  Web Evaluation

Some Things to Consider
The amount of information available on the WWW is overwhelming. It has been estimated that over 7 million new web sites are created every day. Unfortunately much of this information has not been reviewed for authority, accurateness, objectivity, currency,and completeness. The burden of evaluation falls on you, the Internet user.

  • Make sure that your professor says that you can use web sites.
  • Using Google's advanced search to limit to more reliable domains (e.g. .gov and .edu).
  • Always look for contact and date information somewhere on the page (usually the bottom).
  • Visiting Internet Indexes (i.ed. sites that review sites). A few excellent ones include:
  • Following the criteria below when deciding whether to use a particular web page.

Web Site Evaluation Criteria

  • Authority:
    • Is it clear who is responsible for the web page?
    • Is there a way of verifying the page's sponsor? Is there a phone number or postal address included? (An email address is not enough).
    • Is it clear who wrote the material? Are their credentials clearly stated?
    • If the material is copyrighted, is the name of the copyright holder given?
  • Accuracy:
    • Are the sources for any factual information clearly listed so that verification is possible in another source?
    • Is the information clear of blatant grammatical, spelling and/or other typographical errors?
    • If there are graphs or charts are they clearly labeled? Is source information given?
  • Objectivity:
    • What is the purpose of providing the information? (Public service, profit, or persuasion)
    • Is the information free of advertising?
    • If there is advertising is it clearly differentiated from the informational content?
  • Currency:
    • Are there dates on the page indicating when it was written? When it was last revised? When it was first placed on the web?
    • Are there indications that the material is kept current?
  • Coverage:
    • Is there an indication that the page has been completed and is not still under construction?
    • If there is a print equivalent, does the page state whether the entire work is on the web or only parts of it?

These criteria based on checklist in the book Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web by Jan Alexander and Marsha Ann Tate.
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