This page was modified from a similar page created by Susan McMullen, Information Resources / Reference Librarian at Roger Williams University Libraries.
How do I Evaluate Websites?
When using the Internet, you must remember that it lacks any kind of quality control and it is not regulated in any way.
The burden of determining the value of information found on the Internet is on the user.
You should consider these criteria for evaluating Web resources (Accuracy, Authority, Objectivity, Currency, Coverage, and Relevancy).
- Is the website well-researched and information properly cited?
- Are facts and statistics documented?
- Can the information be verified in other sources?
- Is the page well-written and organized?
- Can you identify the author of the website? An author can be an individual, company, educational institution, government agency, non-profit organization, etc.
- What are the qualifications or credentials of the author? Is the author affiliated with a reputable institution?
- Are there biases in the Web page? Is this the site of a company selling products or an individual/organization with a specific agenda?
- Are the goals or aims of the author clearly stated?
- Is there a date when the website was last updated?
- Are the links from the site up-to-date?
- How does the information compare with other sources available on the topic?
- What is the reading level of the material?
- Are there references or links to more information?
- The website may be cool, but is the content appropriate for your research needs?