Evaluating Web Resources

Evaluating Web Resources 

Good research, like good art, good cooking, good teaching, and good whatever, requires patience, creativity, multiple approaches, time, and work. . . . Lots of work!!!

Clifford Stoll - Silicon Snake Oil

At one time or another, everyone has tried to find information that helps provide a solution to a problem or helps provide the information necessary to become more knowledgeable. Not every attempt to find good, solid, useful information is successful--especially on the Internet. Finding reliable information is a process that requires strategy and flexibility. Yet, evaluating material is primarily common sense and requires the critical thinking skills we need to master in our everyday life.

Criteria for Evaluating an Internet Site

  1. Title:
    • States briefly what the site is about.
    • The words in a title serve as a clue to subject matter.
  2. Author:
    • Who is the author and what are the qualifications, reputation, or status of that author in the field or subject area?
    • Can you contact the author?
    • Is the site affiliated with any institution or organization? Reliability: Can you trust the information?
    • Make sure the content of site is accurate, unbiased, and acceptable academically.
    • Determine the competence and reputation of author, editor, publisher, and contributors.
  3. Purpose:
    • Who is the intended audience of the site?
    • Is the site biased or intended to further a specific agenda or point of view?
  4. Currency:
    • The information should be current and up-to-date as opposed to older or out-of-date information that may not be accurate.
    • Check the last update or revised date of the site.
    • A reliable site will list when the page was last updated or revised.
  5. Accuracy:
    • Is the information correct?
    • Is the information fact or fiction?
    • Can it be proven?
    • Checking the information against another source often reveals the reliability of a site.
    • Is there a Reference or Work Cited bibliography that demonstrates the author has researched the topic?
  6. Relevance:
    • The information on the site should be precisely what is needed.
    • Is the information unique, or is it repetitive?

Other Resources:

Subject Guides for Finding Reliable Information on the Internet:

Other Resources:

United States and the Cuban Embargo

Assignment: Carefully review the sites about the United States and the Cuban Embargo. On a separate sheet of paper, answer the following questions using the Criteria for Evaluating an Internet Site as completely as possible.

  1. Which site provides the most reliable information about United States and the Cuban Embargo? Why? (Be as complete as possible.)
  2. Which sites provide a way to contact the author?
  3. Which author(s) seems the most reliable? Why? How does the author(s) establish credibility?
  4. Which sites post when the information was last updated? Why is it important?
  5. Which site has a bibliography of source material?
  6. Of all the sites, which site looked the best? What made you like this site? Was it the most informative?
  7. Which site is the most engaging and thought provoking? Why do you think so?

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Direct inquiries about this page to Dale Vidmar.