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LS 102 Course Materials

Introduction to Information Research

Evaluate Web Sites

Why should I evaluate Internet / Web resources?

Who is the author?
Is the author named on the page or site?  If an individual author is not named, is there a link to a "home page" to see who is sponsoring the page?

What date was the information posted and/or updated?
Is your topic time-sensitive so that you can only use the most updated information or is your topic more historical oriented?

Are there any special features such as tables, statistics, or "works cited" to back up the information?
Are there links to other pages that support or supplement the information given?  If yes, what kind of pages are they? Do these pages supplement the information given? 

What is the overall purpose and tone of the page / site?
Who is the intended audience? Is there an "about" or "what is" link from either the information page or the "home page" that outlines the purpose of the pages?

What type of actual content are you getting?
To what depth does the Web site / page cover the topic?  Does it seem to be a "surface" treatment?  Can you really get a background overview, thorough coverage, or an in-depth analysis of specific aspects for your topic?

Things to consider...

You might want to compare information found on the Web with a information from a standard, more traditional, research resource (encyclopedia, book, or journal article) on your topic. Not only to fact-check, but to compare the depth and breadth of the information you're getting.