Who sponsors the creation and maintenance of the page?
Purpose of sponsoring organization?
Address or contact information provided for sponsoring organization?
Who developed the information?
What are his/her credentials on the topic?
Contact information for this author?
Sources for factual information provided?
Any errors you can detect? Who is responsible for the accuracy of the information?
In statistical data is in graphs or charts, are they labeled clearly? Any errors?
Provided as a public service?
Free of advertising?
If advertising, is it identified and separate?
Other signs of bias?
Dates present for when written, when first placed online, when last revised or edited?
Updated frequently enough to ensure currency of the data?
If taken from a print source, is the edition given?
Links up to date?
Page not under construction?
If from larger work, is the relationship clear?
If from an old source, has it been updated?
Any evidence of omissions?
Does it cover the subject adequately?
Source: Alexander, Jan. & Tate, Marsha. (1996, Nov/Dec). Teaching Critical Evaluation skills for World Wide Web Resources. Computers In Libraries.
Who published the page? Check the domain: what institution publishes this document?
Does the publisher list his or her qualifications?
Who wrote the page, can you contact him?
What is the purpose of the document, why produced?
Is this person qualified to write this document?
What goals/objectives does this page meet?
How detailed is the information?
What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author?
When was it produced?
When was it updated?
How up-to-date are the links (if any)?
Are the links evaluated and do they complement the document's theme?
Is it all images or a balance of text and images? Is the information cited?
Source: Kapoun, Jim. (1998, July/Aug). Teaching Undergrads Web Evaluation: A Guide for Library Instruction. C&RL News, 522.523.
Look at the author.
Famous, respected? Or unknown?
Look at the URL. Use the domain to help determine if the site is reliable.
Look at the date. Are links working? If not, you can guess the author is no longer maintaining this website.
What is the goal of this website?
What is the viewpoint? (Give facts, sell, inform, persuade, laughter)
Intended to help people do research or talk them into buying something?
Where does the information come from?
Documented, or from an organization famous for its research.
Beware if sources not provided.
Why is this information useful to you? Does it answer your questions? Does it help you write your report?
The best information in the world is not useful if it does not answer the questions YOU have.
Source: San Francisco Public Library, "Evaluating Web Sites: A how to guide for researchers." http://sfpl.lib.ca.us/sfplonline/kids/wevevaluation.htm Inspired by the work of Kathy Schrock. http://discoveryschool.com/schrockguide/eval.html
What can the URL tell you?
Is it somebody's personal page?
What type of domain does it come from (.com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov, or .mil)?
Is it published by an entity that makes sense?
Scan the perimeter of the page
Who wrote the page: look for links that say "About us," "Philosophy," "Background," "Biography," or "Who am I." If you cannot find these, truncate back the URL one / at a time to see if you can find out who is behind the page.
Is the page current enough? Look for the "last updated" date on all the pages of the site.
What are the author's credentials on this subject?
Look for indicators of quality
Look for links to other resources.
Is the information documented?
Do the links reflect a bias?
Look at the publisher (first part of URL usually): is it the true publisher or possibly a fake?
What do others say?
Find out what pages link to this page. Look the page or site up in a reliable subject directory for opinions. Search the author's name in Google and see what you find.
Does it all add up?
Step back and pay attention to your gut reaction to all you've found.
What are the intentions of the authors? Why was the page created? (Inform, explain, give data, persuade, entice, sell, share, disclose)
Be sensitive to the possibility that you are the victim of a spoof, irony, joke, satire, or parody.
Is this source as good as what I could find if I used the library and its resources?
Source: Barker, Joe. "Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask," Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2005. http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html
Who is the author of the piece?
Is the author the creator of the information?
Does the author list his or her occupation, years of experience, position, education, or other credentials?
What institution (company, organization government, university, etc.) or internet provider supports this information?
If it is a commercial Internet provider, does the author appear to have any connection with larger institution?
Does the institution appear to exercise quality control over the information appearing under its name?
Does the author's affiliation with this particular institution appear to bias the information?
What was the date the information was created or last updated?
What appears to be the purpose for this information (inform, explain, persuade)?
Who is the intended audience?
Compared to what?
What does this work/site offer compared to other works, including non-Internet works?
Given all the information you determined from above, is this Internet site appropriate to add to your bookmark?
Source: InfoPeople: "Evaluating Internet Resources: A Checklist." http://www.infopeople.org/resources/bkmk/select.html.
Adapted from: Wilkinson, G.L., Bennett, L., & Oliver, K. (1997, March/April). Consolidated Listing of Evaluation Criteria and Quality Indicators. Educational Technology.
Source: Reshaping Reference to Fit the Internet Culture. (2006, Summer). Ceated by Joe Barker for the Infopeople Project [infopeople.org], supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. Any use of this material should credit the author and funding source. http://www.infopeople.org/training/past/2006/reshaping/Hdt3eval_checklists.pdf.