Evaluating a Web Site

Five Criteria for Evaluating a Web Site

Criteria for Web documents How to Interpret the Basics
1. Accuracy
  • Who wrote the page and can you contact him or her?
  • What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced?
  • Is this person qualified to write this document?
  • Make sure author provides e-mail or a contact address/phone number.
  • Know the difference between author and webmaster.
2. Authority
  • Who published the document and is it separate from the Web master?
    Check the domain of the document.
  • What institution publishes this document?
  • Does the publisher list his or her qualifications?
  • What qualifications are listed for the authors?
  • Where is the document published? Check URL domain.
  • Is there a Tilde (~) in the Web address, indicating a personal website?
3. Objectivity
  • What goals/objectives does this page meet?
  • How detailed is the information?
  • What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author?
  • Determine if page is a cover for advertising; if so information might be biased.
  • View any web page as you would an infomercial on television.
  • Ask yourself why was this written and for whom?
4. Currency
  • When was it produced?
  • When was it updated?
  • How up-to-date are the links (if any)?
  • How many dead links are on the page?
  • Are the links current or updated regularly?
  • Is the information on the page outdated?
5. Coverage
  • Are the links (if any) evaluated and do they support the documents' theme?
  • Is it all images or a balance of text and images?
  • Is the information presented cited correctly?
  • If page requires special software to view the information, how much are you missing if you don't have the software?
  • Is it free or is there a fee to obtain the information?
  • Is there an option for text only, or frames, or a suggested browser for better viewing?