ENGL 1213 Purpose:   Discover how to evaluate and use websites for research.       Name: ___________________________________
            Compare websites for scholarly information.                            Instructor: ________________________________

                                             Evaluating Web Sites
Evaluation of Web documents                                            How to interpret the basics
1. Accuracy of Web Documents                                           Accuracy
         Who wrote the page and can you contact him or                       Make sure author provides e-mail or a contact
          her?                                                                 address/phone number.
         What is the purpose of the document and why                         Know the distinction between author and
          was it produced?                                                     Webmaster.
         Is this person qualified to write this document?
2. Authority of Web Documents                                          Authority
         Who published the document and is it separate                       What credentials are listed for the authors)?
          from the "Webmaster?"                                               Where is the document published? Check URL
         Check the domain of the document, what                               domain.
          institution publishes this document?
         Does the publisher list his or her qualifications?
3. Objectivity of Web Documents                                        Objectivity
         What goals/objectives does this page meet?                          Determine if page is a mask for advertising; if so
         How detailed is the information?                                     information might be biased.
         What opinions (if any) are expressed by the                         View any Web page as you would an
          author?                                                              infommercial on television. Ask yourself why was
                                                                               this written and for whom?
4. Currency of Web Documents                                           Currency
         When was it produced?                                               How many dead links are on the page?
         When was it updated                                                 Are the links current or updated regularly?
         How up-to-date are the links (if any)?                              Is the information on the page outdated?
5. Coverage of the Web Documents                                       Coverage
         Are the links (if any) evaluated and do they                        If page requires special software to view the
          complement the documents' theme?                                     information, how much are you missing if you
         Is it all images or a balance of text and images?                    don't have the software?
         Is the information presented cited correctly?                       Is it free or is there a fee, to obtain the
Kapoun, Jim. "Teaching undergrads WEB evaluation: A guide for library instruction." C&RL News (July/August 1998):

Types of Domains
a) What type of domain is it? Is this appropriate for the content? Look at ending of the URL.
        .com = commercial                         .edu = educational                       .gov = government
        .mil = military                           .net = network                           .org = organization
        .us = United States                       .two-letter code = other countries (.uk = United Kingdom; .ca =
                                                  Canada, .au = Australia)

b) Who owns this domain? Search WHOIS by domain name http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp
c) Is it a personal page within an organization? After the domain name will be one of these before the
personal name: user, ~ , %, members, or people. For example,
               .net/~bconnor/        http://www.athens.net/~bconnor/Bone/Forensics.html
               .net/%7Ebconnor/ http://www.athens.net/%7Ebconnor/LindsayChamberlain.html

                                                                                                                   ENGL 1213 Comp II
                                                                                                                    Evaluating Websites
                                                      Cameron University Library                                                 02/10

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