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Evaluating Internet Resources
Use the questions provided here to help you evaluate Internet sites for use as academic resources. Use the Evaluation Criteria tab for more in-depth information.
- How did you find this website?
- Did a professor or other reliable source recommend it?
- Was it cited in a scholarly or credible source?
- Was it a link from a reputable website?
- What is the website's domain name ending?
- What kind of site is it? .edu, .com, .gov, .org, .net?
- .edu and .gov websites tend to be more reliable than .com, .net, and most .org sites.
- Who is the sponsor or host of the website?
- To locate the host of a web page, you can delete any part of the address after the first forward slash (
/) in a site's URL.
- Also look for words such as Hosted by, About us, or Contact us.
- The web address for the page What's Wrong with Making Assisted Suicide Legal? is
https://www.nrlc.org/medethics/wrongwithaslegal. If you delete everything past the first slash you are left with
https://www.nrlc.org which is the site for the organization National Right to Life.
- What degree of authority does the website's author have?
- Who is the author? What are her/his credentials? Is the author or source of the website an expert in his/her field?
- Can you find the contact information for the author?
- Look for the author's name at the top or bottom of the page, or in a section of the site titled About us, Contact us, or something similar.
- Is the website accurate and objective?
- Does the information seem objective, unbiased, and fair?
- How does the information compare to print sources you have read?
- Are sources of factual or statistical information cited?
- Does the page contain advertising? Is the entire site an advertisement?
- Compare the information on this page to reliable sources that you have already read on the topic.
- Is the website current?
- When was the page last updated?
- Are the links functional?
- Is the information timely and up-to-date?
- Look for a date at the top or bottom of the page.
- Is the website functional?
- Is the site well organized?
- Is there a site map or index?
- Are there lots of typos or grammatical errors on the site?
- Is the website searchable?
- Is the site easy to navigate?
- Remember that just because a site looks nice, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is a reliable source of information.