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Web Page Evaluation Criteria

Separating fact from fiction

yin-yang
 

 

Can You Trust Information You Find on the Internet?
Lack of quality control is one of the drawbacks of the Internet. This means that anyone who has a computer connected to the Internet and wants to make his/her information or opinion available can "publish" on the Web. Because there are no restrictions, guidelines, or review processes for contributions to the Web, the quality, accuracy, validity, and authority of the contributed information varies wildly.

Apply your critical thinking skills to judge usefulness, validity and reliability of the information you uncover. The following criteria are a set of questions and/or principles that act as a benchmark to evaluate information.

Not all web sites are equally valuable or credible.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Coverage

Is it appropriate for your topic?

audience appropriate
 

 

  • Relevant
    Do the topics covered include your topic? Does the page cover a variety of (too many) topics or is it focused on one relevant topic?
  • Adequate
    Does the page information adequately cover your topic: is it too general or too detailed?

 

  • Audience appropriate
    Is the content intended for children, scholars, general public? Was the page written to inform, educate, entertain (parody).
  • Primary or secondary account (original or synthesized?)
    Does the page offer original (primary) information not covered elsewhere? Is this page a synthesis of other people's (secondary) accounts / writings? Is this the best page to cite, or does another page contain/summarize this information and present it in a better way?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Authority on the Topic

Who is responsible for the site?

author
 

 

Author of site
Is there an author named on the page? Is the author qualified?   If not, then . . .

Sponsor of site
Is there a sponsor? Is the sponsor qualified? (i.e. Is there an "about us" or "our mission" link?)   If not, then . . .

Link or contact Information
Is the author or sponsor's name, e-mail, postal address listed? If not, then . . .

 

Clues to page's origin
Is there any other way to determine the page's author(s)? (header, footer, URL or domain name)

Is the URL associated with a university or reputable organization?

Does the domain name indicate .edu → educational institution; .org → non-profit organization; .gov → governmental body? (Useful for determining origin only. Reputable information can also be found on: .com → commercial enterprise; .net → Internet)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Objectivity

Is the purpose of the site clear, including  any particular viewpoint?

man looking thru magnifying glass

 

 

Bias
Does the page/site show minimal signs of bias: political, ideological, personal, or cultural?

Intent
Does the page present factual information or is it designed to sway opinion?

Influence
If the site is sponsored or underwritten by advertising, is the writing free of bias supporting the sponsors?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Accuracy

Is the information accurate?

bulls-eye

 

 

 

Factual
Does the author give factual information?

Documented / well-researched
Does the author cite his/her sources? Is the research methodology explained?

Subject to verification
Can the information be verified by additional resources in print on on the Web?

Corroborated
Are links and resource citations included that support claims made on the site?

Collaborative
Is a committee or editor named who reviews the content or verifies facts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Currency

Is the information current?

date

 

 

 

 

Date-stamped
Is there a "last updated" notation or evidence of recent changes?   If not, then . . .

Seemingly current
Does the information seem current to you? Do news events, conference events or any bits information lead you to believe the page has been updated recently?   If not, then . . .

Linked currently
Are the links still working? Do pages turn up with "this site has moved" or "page not found"?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web Page Evaluation

Resources

 

 

Evaluation Criteria Form - Form download  

The above form can be used to evaluate web sites when doing research. It was adapted from others below.

 

Other Evaluation Forms 

Sample evaluations forms can be found on these university web pages:

The above URL links above are included for your convenience; however, MLA  style no longer recommends their inclusion.

 

 

 

 

 

Practice

Evaluate Resource #1

 

 

 

Read and evaluate the following link

Fueul, Dr. Juatta Lyon. "The True but Little Known Facts about Women and AIDS." University of Santa Anita.  1 Apr 2012. Web  31 Jun 2013. <http://www.ithaca.edu/library/research/AIDSFACTS.htm>.

Control-click the link to open it in a new browser window. (Place the windows side by side to work more easily.)

 

 

Evaluate

  1. Decide whether the page meets the evaluation criteria (a standard for judgment).
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the check button to the left.

 

1.
Coverage of  "The True but Little Known Facts about Women and AID

Relevant -- Do the topics covered include your topic? Does the page cover a variety of (too many) topics or is it focused on one relevant topic?

Adequate -- Does the page information adequately cover your topic: is it too general or too detailed?

Audience appropriate -- Is the content intended for children, scholars, general public? Was the page written to inform, educate, entertain (parody).

Primary or secondary account (original or regurgitated?) -- Does the page offer original (primary) information not covered elsewhere? Is this page a synthesis of other people's (secondary) accounts / writings? Is this the best page to cite, or does another page contain/summarize this information and present it in a better way

     


2.
Authority   "The True but Little Known Facts about Women and AID

Author of site Is there an author named on the page? Is the author qualified?

Sponsor of site -- Is there a sponsor? Is the sponsor qualified? (i.e. Is there an "about us" or "our mission" link?)

Link or contact Information -- Is the author or sponsor's name, e-mail, postal address listed?

Clues to page's origin -- Is there any other way to determine the page's author(s)? (header, footer, URL or domain name?

     


3.
Objectivity  "The True but Little Known Facts about Women and AID

Bias -- Does the page/site show minimal signs of bias: political, ideological, personal, or cultural?

Intent -- Does the page present factual information or is it designed to sway opinion?

Influence -- Is the site is sponsored or underwritten by advertising, is the writing free of bias supporting the sponsor?

     


4.
Accuracy  "The True but Little Known Facts about Women and AID

Factual -- Does the author give factual information?

Documented / well-researched -- Does the author cite his/her sources? Is the research methodology explained?

Subject to verification -- Can the information be verified by additional resources in print on on the Web?

Corroborated -- Are links and resource citations included (possibly using MLA citation format.)

Collaborative -- Is a committee or editor named who reviews the content or verifies facts

     


5.
Currency   "The True but Little Known Facts about Women and AID

Date-stamped -- Is there a "last updated" notation or evidence of recent changes?

Seemingly current -- Does the information seem current to you? Do news events, conference events or any bits information lead you to believe the page has been updated recently?

Linked currently -- Are the links still working? Do pages turn up with "this site has moved" or "page not found"

     


 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Evaluate Resource #2

 

 

 

Read and evaluate the following link

"Children and HIV and AIDS–How does HIV and AIDS affect girls and women?" UNICEF. 22 Feb 2008. Web. 6 Jan 2014. <http://www.unicef.org/aids/index_hivaids_girls_women.html>.

Control-click the link to open it in a new browser window. (Place the windows side by side to work more easily.)

 

 

Evaluate

  1. Decide whether the page meets the evaluation criteria (a standard for judgment).
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the check button to the left.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs360/en/index.html

6.
Coverage    "Children and HIV and AIDS–How does HIV and AIDS affect girls and women?"

Relevant -- Do the topics covered include your topic? Does the page cover a variety of (too many) topics or is it focused on one relevant topic?

Adequate -- Does the page information adequately cover your topic: is it too general or too detailed?

Audience appropriate -- Is the content intended for children, scholars, general public? Was the page written to inform, educate, entertain (parody).

Primary or secondary account (original or regurgitated?) -- Does the page offer original (primary) information not covered elsewhere? Is this page a synthesis of other people's (secondary) accounts / writings? Is this the best page to cite, or does another page contain/summarize this information and present it in a better way

     


7.
Authority     "Children and HIV and AIDS–How does HIV and AIDS affect girls and women?"

Author of site Is there an author named on the page? Is the author qualified?

Sponsor of site -- Is there a sponsor? Is the sponsor qualified? (i.e. Is there an "about us" or "our mission" link?)

Link or contact Information -- Is the author or sponsor's name, e-mail, postal address listed?

Clues to page's origin -- Is there any other way to determine the page's author(s)? (header, footer, URL or domain name?

     


8.
Objectivity     "Children and HIV and AIDS–How does HIV and AIDS affect girls and women?"

Bias -- Does the page/site show minimal signs of bias: political, ideological, personal, or cultural?

Intent -- Does the page present factual information or is it designed to sway opinion?

Influence -- Is the site is sponsored or underwritten by advertising, is the writing free of bias supporting the sponsor?

     


9.
Accuracy     "Children and HIV and AIDS–How does HIV and AIDS affect girls and women?"

Factual -- Does the author give factual information?

Documented / well-researched -- Does the author cite his/her sources? Is the research methodology explained?

Subject to verification -- Can the information be verified by additional resources in print on on the Web?

Corroborated -- Are links and resource citations included (possibly using MLA citation format.)

Collaborative -- Is a committee or editor named who reviews the content or verifies facts

     


10.
Currency     "Children and HIV and AIDS–How does HIV and AIDS affect girls and women?"

Date-stamped -- Is there a "last updated" notation or evidence of recent changes?

Seemingly current -- Does the information seem current to you? Do news events, conference events or any bits information lead you to believe the page has been updated recently?

Linked currently -- Are the links still working? Do pages turn up with "this site has moved" or "page not found"

     


 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Evaluate Resource #3

 

 

 

Read and evaluate the following link. (This one may surprise you!)

Crowe, David et al. "VirusMyth: a rethinking AIDS website. 2 Feb 2013. Web. 6 Jan 2014. <http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/>.

Control-click the link to open it in a new browser window. (Place the windows side by side to work more easily.)

 

Evaluate

  1. Decide whether the page meets the evaluation criteria (a standard for judgment).
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the check button to the left.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs360/en/index.html

11.
Coverage  " HIV & AIDS VirusMyth: a rethinking AIDS"

Relevant -- Do the topics covered include your topic? Does the page cover a variety of (too many) topics or is it focused on one relevant topic?

Adequate -- Does the page information adequately cover your topic: is it too general or too detailed?

Audience appropriate -- Is the content intended for children, scholars, general public? Was the page written to inform, educate, entertain (parody).

Primary or secondary account (original or regurgitated?) -- Does the page offer original (primary) information not covered elsewhere? Is this page a synthesis of other people's (secondary) accounts / writings? Is this the best page to cite, or does another page contain/summarize this information and present it in a better way

     


12.
Authority   " HIV & AIDS VirusMyth: a rethinking AIDS"

Author of site Is there an author named on the page? Is the author qualified?

Sponsor of site -- Is there a sponsor? Is the sponsor qualified? (i.e. Is there an "about us" or "our mission" link?)

Link or contact Information -- Is the author or sponsor's name, e-mail, postal address listed?

Clues to page's origin -- Is there any other way to determine the page's author(s)? (header, footer, URL or domain name?

     


13.
Objectivity   " HIV & AIDS VirusMyth: a rethinking AIDS"

Bias -- Does the page/site show minimal signs of bias: political, ideological, personal, or cultural?

Intent -- Does the page present factual information or is it designed to sway opinion?

Influence -- Is the site is sponsored or underwritten by advertising, is the writing free of bias supporting the sponsor?

     


14.
Accuracy   " HIV & AIDS VirusMyth: a rethinking AIDS"

Factual -- Does the author give factual information?

Documented / well-researched -- Does the author cite his/her sources? Is the research methodology explained?

Subject to verification -- Can the information be verified by additional resources in print on on the Web?

Corroborated -- Are links and resource citations included (possibly using MLA citation format.)

Collaborative -- Is a committee or editor named who reviews the content or verifies facts

     


15.
Currency   " HIV & AIDS VirusMyth: a rethinking AIDS"

Date-stamped -- Is there a "last updated" notation or evidence of recent changes?

Seemingly current -- Does the information seem current to you? Do news events, conference events or any bits information lead you to believe the page has been updated recently?

Linked currently -- Are the links still working? Do pages turn up with "this site has moved" or "page not found"