Evaluating Internet Sites

Evaluating Internet Sites, Recognizing Quality Information

An Information Web Page is one whose purpose is to present factual information. The URL/Address may end with .edu, .gov, .org, or .museum as these pages are sponsored by educational institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, or museums. They present information such as reports, research, and exhibits. 

Answer these questions in full about any web page you are considering using in your research. The more you can answer, the more likely the source is high quality information. If you cannot answer, be skeptical of the information, and find another website that is more trustworthy.

1a. Who is responsible for the contents of the page, a person or a group? If it is a group, give their name in full. Search for a link to a description of the purpose or mission of the sponsoring organization. What is their purpose or mission for this website?

1b. If a person is responsible for this website, give their name in full. Search the site to find out information about the author. How does the author know about the subject? What is the author's job? What is the author’s educational background. Give details. 

2. What is the email address where you can you contact the sponsoring organization or author? Additionally, what is the physical address and phone number to contact the sponsoring organization or author? Is there only an email link? How do you know it goes to the author or group?

3. Is the information free of advertising? Give details for the two questions below.
If there is advertising, is it clearly differentiated from the information content?
If the site is a .com site, is it wholely advertising for the sponsoring organization?

4. Dates: When was the page written?
When was the page first placed on the web?
When was the page last revised?

5. Is the information easy to read and use?
Is it free from grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors?
Does the page load quickly?
Are pictures, charts, and diagrams labeled clearly?
Does the page include helpful links to other resources? 
Are there any dead links (no longer active) on the site?

6. Explain why you picked this website. Give two or three reasons why it is the best information.