Web Site Evaluation Criteria

Criteria Characteristics Problems
Authority An authoritative source makes clear:
• Who is responsible for page content
• Author’s qualifications
• Can be difficult to determine authorship
• Author’s qualifications are frequently absent
• Contact information may not be listed
Accuracy An accurate site presents information that:
• Is based upon verifiable fact
• Lists sources for presented information
• Links to reputable outside sources
• Almost anyone can publish on the Web
• Many Web resources not verified by editors
• May include lies, distortions,
myths, dubious data and stereotypes
• May not provide links to reputable outside sources
Currency A Web site with currency includes:
• Date the page was written, placed on Web and last revised
• Timely information, when appropriate
• No dead links
• Site may not display dates
• Page may present stale information
• Site may include dead links
Objectivity An objective site:
• Presents information with a minimum of bias
• Is fair, balanced and reasonable
• Site pretends to be objective, but only presents one point of view
• May not differentiate advocacy vs. fact
• May provide biased information in order to promote a product

Back to How to Research

Printable Version of this Page