Evaluating Internet Sources
Not all information is equally valuable. Retrieved information, whether from a print or non-print sources, must be carefully examined to determine its usefulness and quality. As the World Wide Web becomes more popular as a source of information for assignments and research papers, it is important to be able to select and critically evaluate the sites you visit.
- Is the format/medium of the information useful for your assignment?
- If you need primary sources, is this a primary source?
- Is the information comprehensive enough for your needs?
- Does the information express a particular point of view?
- Is the information directed toward a general (vs. a specialized) audience?
- Is there an indication of when the information was created/published?
- Is the information regularly updated?
- Is the information still valid for your topic?
- Is there information on the author/producer of the source?
- Is there information on author/producer’s credentials?
- Does the information come from an “authoritative” source?
- Is there contact information (e.g. email address for author/producer)?
- Does the information source cover the topic extensively?
- Is the information abridged (e.g. table of contents/summary only)?
- Is full-text information available only to subscribers?
- Is the information presented as fact (vs. opinion)?
- If the information is presented as fact, can it be assessed for accuracy (i.e. are there footnotes or references)?
- Does the information appear to be biased?
- Is the page layout visually pleasing?
- Are the buttons or icons easy to understand?
- Are the hot links provided to additional information?
- Do the images enhance the information?
- Is the load/response time acceptable?