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Evaluating Websites: Introduction

Learn how to determine which websites will meet the standard for use in college research.

The Internet


“You Can’t Believe Most of the Quotes You Read On the Internet” -Abraham Lincoln


Some content in this guide based on guides created by:

Leecy Barnett, Lynn Library 

What's in this Guide

There are FIVE criteria you should keep in mind when evaluating a web site

The FIVE criteria are:

  • 1) Authority: Who is responsible for the website and the information it contains?
  • 2) Accuracy: How accurate is the information? How reputable are the sources?
  • 3) Objectivity: What point of view do the creators of the web site have?
  • 4) Currency: How current is the information? Is is outdated?
  • 5) Coverage:  Is the web site covering all aspects of a topic?
  • Which is better?: Take a look at two different websites and use the five criteria to pick the one that is more useful for a college paper.
  • Hoaxes: Not everything on the Web is what it seems! Think before you accept a site at face value. Here are some examples.
  • Wikipedia?:  Is Wikipedia a good source for college research?
  • About the internet:  this page contains information on the following.
    Search Engines:
    Which Search Engine (ex. Google, Bing, Yahoo) is best for your needs? How do you search across multiple Search Engines?
    Internet 101:
    Here are some introductory materials about the Internet.
    Web Domains:
    .com?.edu?.gov? what do these different Web Domains mean? Are they regulated? Who regulates them?
    Black Holes
    :Internet Black Holes are sites where information is not being transmitted or received.
    Helpful Handouts: Links to sites and handouts that list how to evaluate webpages.

Web Searching


“the speed of young people’s web searching means that little time is spent in evaluating information, either for relevance, accuracy or authority” The information behaviour of the researcher of the future | UCL

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