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 Is the information on the page outdated?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,
ENGL 1213 Comp II
Cameron University Library 02/10