Evaluating Results - Web Site Quality

Evaluating the Web Sites In Your Results List: Tips and Hints

The following points summarize the highlights from the web sites listed below:

Publication Information

Who publishes the Web site? What is the domain? If not readily apparent, find out who owns the domain at Whois.

Authorship

Is the site a personal page; a page on an .edu Web site?

  • Is the author reputable in the field? Have you heard of him/her? If not, can you find information on the author verifying authority either online or in print?
  • What are his/her qualifications for publication?
  • Is there an email address listed to contact the author for additional information?
  • Is there an About section to give the searcher some of this information?

Currency

There should be a relatively recent date of last update listed on the page. Also check the data itself for currency. Is it still up-to-date and accurate? Are there many dead links on the site?

Objectivity

Ascertaining bias or lack of objectivity is critical. Are the publishers of the site trying to sell you something? Or convert you to a specific point of view?

Your Own Background

Evaluation of quality of information depends upon the background the searcher brings to his or her search. If you don't have an extensive background in the area in which you are seeking information, you need to verify your results by checking with other Web sites or print sources. Do they all agree?

Kathy Schrock's "5Ws for Evaluating Web Sites"

Clear, succinct, written for kids by an educator.

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The Virtual Chase

Evaluating the Quality of Information on the Internet - This site was originally designed for legal professionals. It does an excellent job in assisting users perform legal research on the Web and focuses on evaluating Web resources. A great resource for all Web researchers.

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