This list is a guide for evaluating information found on the Internet. It can also be applied to print sources and media.
How reliable is the information? Remember, almost anyone can publish on the web. As opposed to scholarly print media, many web sites are not verified. There are no web standards to ensure accuracy.
What are the author’s qualifications for writing on this subject? How reputable is the publisher? It is often difficult to determine the authorship and qualifications. The publisher information is often absent.
Is there bias? Are the goals or aims of the individual or group clearly stated? Remember that many people consider the web as a place to state their opinions.
Is the content up-to-date? Often dates are omitted or may mean the date that the information was originally written, the date it was placed on the web, or the date it was last revised.
What topics are covered and to what depth? Coverage may differ from print resources.
Is there a corporate entity (i.e. company, government, organization, university) that supports this site? Is there a link to the homepage of the organization? Is there contact information such as an email link and a snail mail address? How might this affiliation affect objectivity?
For what audience is the material intended? Is it for students in elementary school? Middle school? High school? Is it for adults? How difficult is the material?
STABILITY OF INFORMATION
It’s here today but will it be here tomorrow? Can you cite it with some assurance that it will be found again?
Were there limitations on who has access to the research or information? Or who is able to publish the work? Think about if there is anyone else who might contribute a different perspective to the information. Seek out those voices might be missing, left-out, or not prioritized in the work.
|PURPOSE / POINT OF VIEW||
The Internet gives us many places to help learn how to determine if a website is credible. Here are come examples: