- Can you tell who is the creator? Does he/she have any special qualifications on this subject?
- Is there an institution/organization sponsoring the site? (You may have to go back a few levels or check some of the links to find out). What clues indicate if the organization has a particular bias or agenda?
- What is the "top domain" in the URL of the site? (e.g. .org, .com, .edu, .gov, .net, etc.)
- Is contact information provided for the creator(s) or webmaster?
- To see who owns the domain name, search the domain name in Network Solutions "whois" records at http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp
- To see what others think of the site (what pages link to this site), try a link search on google.com Type link:thedomainofthesite in the search box (that is, type the word link, followed by a colon, then no
space, then the domain of the site you want to evaluate, for example link:greeningearthsociety.org).
- What do you think the purpose of the site is? Consider what benefits the author or sponsor derives from this site.
- At what audience is this website directed?
- Does the information seem accurate and objectively presented?
- OR -
- Does the site appear to have a bias or express undocumented opinions? Is the information one-sided or
subjective or does it appear questionable?
- Are there spelling or typographical errors, or flaws or strengths in the format and appearance that give you clues as to the reliability of this site?
- Are there references or links that lead to useful information or that verify statements on the page?
- Is the content informative and useful?
- Does the website cover the topic adequately?
- Can you tell when the site was last updated or if the information seems up-to-date? Check "Page Info"
- Do the links work? Some topics do not require frequent updates, but you may want to know whether
anyone is maintaining the site.
- What is your overall assessment of the site? Useful? Good reliable source? Joke? Junk? Useful only to show a particular viewpoint? Would this be a good source of information for a research paper?