Website evaluation TIPS
- Is there any information about the author(s) of this site?
- Does the information indicate that the person is qualified to write about this topic?
- Does the author have an association with a university, company, or organization?
- .edu is an education site. This is generally a trusted site that provides different perspectives.
- .org is an organization site. Non-profit organizations benefit the general population.
There is usually a mission statement where goals are clearly stated.
- .com is a commercial enterprise or company. The goal of most commercial sites is to gain $.
Not all sites are bad, but you must be more cautious in examining the information. There is no guarantee that the information is provided from a knowledgeable or authoritative person.
Anyone can post a .com site.
- .gov is a government or government department. Generally trustworthy. Provides factual information.
- .info is for information sites (but is not regulated and not that trustworthy)
- .net is for websites who wanted a .com but could not get one
- .ca is the code for Canada. There are many "country codes that specify country of origin.
(Ex. .tv for country of Tuvalu, .iq for Iraq) This may help you narrow
But be cautious. Some country sites may be biased.
- Is the information represented from one viewpoint or does it cover many perspectives?
- How much government propaganda is present. Example: ALjazeera.net presents the information surrounding the Iraq war from a much different perspective than CNN)
- Does the site have clear objectives?
- Does it identify its target audience?
- Is the website trying to sell you something? Look at the amount of advertising present. If the page is designed more around the presentation of ads than information then it is a safe bet that the information is minimal.
- When was the information last updated?
- Have any changes occurred in this field of study?
- Does the site cover all aspects of the topic or is there limited information?
- Does the information meet your research needs?
- Is the information at a suitable level? Can you understand the information?
- Are other sources cited?
- Are there other useful links?