Evaluating Web Sources

  • Use CAPS to review a website:

    When doing research, it is very important to choose books or web sites that can be trusted. Authors of books and journal articles must have their work looked at before being published, but anyone can publish a web page.

     

    Use these guidelines when deciding whether the site you are looking at is a reliable source of information.

    A description of web site types

     

     

    CURRENCY:

    • When was the site published or last updated?
    • Is the information current?
    • Are there quality links to other information that are up-to-date?
    • Is it comprehensive coverage of the subject matter?

     

    AUTHORITY:

    • Who created the web site? Why should they be trusted? Are they an authority on the subject? 
    • What information does the site tell you about its makers? 
    • How can you ask for more information about who they are?

    Is there an email address?
    Is there a phone or fax number?
    Is there a mailing address?

     

    PURPOSE:

    • What is the goal of the site?
    • Is the information relevant and useful for your needs?
    • Are you part of the intended audience?
    • Is the information accurate and objective?

     

    SITE APPEARANCE:

    • Does the site exhibit proper grammar and composition?
    • Does it look professionally done and is there a company logo?
    • Are there distracting ads?