How to Evaluate Web Sites

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources provides evaluation criteria, suggestions for successful Internet assignments, and examples of good and bad web pages. Prepared by Susan Beck at New Mexico State University. (

ICYouSee: T is for Thinking is a guide to critical thinking about what you see on the Web that includes examples and exercises. Prepared by John Henderson at Ithaca College Library. (


Do your sources measure up to the following criteria?

Timeliness - When was the site posted or last updated? Are the links on the site also up-to-date?

Accuracy - Is the information verifiable elsewhere? Does it agree with your other sources? Is the site well-documented? Is there a copyright date? Is the site well-written and constructed concerning spelling, grammar, etc.? Are facts and statistics documented?

Objectivity - Is the work fact-based and can it be verifiably supported?, or is it opinion-based and primarily the author's interpretation of the facts? Are the goals of the author clearly stated?

Authority & Credibility - Is the author or sponsor of the site identifiable? What are the author's credentials? Is the author cited elsewhere? Is the author an expert in this area? What are the institutional or organizational connections of the author or site sponsor? Is contact information available?

Coverage - Does your source substantially cover the subject matter? Does it substantiate, update, or add new information to existing research? How does the information compare to your other sources?

Relevancy - Is the information relevant to your thesis or question? Who is the primary audience of the work? Is it written at an appropriate level for your research? Or is it too complex or too simple for your needs?

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