Answered By: Sandy Marinaro
Last Updated: Mar 06, 2018     Views: 49

All sources need to be evaluated, but Web source evaluation brings its own set of concerns.

There is no automatic review or editorial process for Web sites, so you carry the burden of determining if a Web source is appropriate for your project. While there is no magic checklist that guarantees a good source, here are some criteria that may help:

Authority  -  Who is the author?
                     What individual, group, agency or organization is responsible for the content of the page?
                     (The domain name may give you a clue.)
                     Can you find information about the expertise of the author?

Purpose -    Who is the intended audience?
                     Is the material at an appropriate level for academic research, or are you looking at a high school
                     class project?

Accuracy -   Do the facts agree with other sources you have checked?
                     Are the sources of information clearly documented?

Objectivity - Is only one side of an argument represented?
                     Are there documented facts to support the stated opinions?
                     What sites does the page link to?
                     Is the author’s mission or agenda clearly stated?

Currency -   Can you determine how current the information is? (Old information is often recycled onto new 
                     pages.)      
                     Is the site updated regularly?
                     Do the links work?