There are six different criteria to consider in evaluating a web site:
- Purpose of the site (What is the intent of the site?)
- Authority of the author (Is the author and credentials listed?)
- Accuracy of the information (Is the information correct?)
- Objectivity of the information (Bias or slanted?)
- Currency (Is it up to date?)
- Coverage (Is the topic covered in depth?)
- Is the main purpose to inform?
- Is the author trying to change your opinion?
- Is the author given?
- Are the credentials of the author given?
- Who is the author affiliated with?
- Is there a way to contact the author?
- Is the information reliable?
- Is the information free of errors?
- Is there a bibliography?
- Who is responsible for the information?
- Are there links to related sites?
- Are statistics included?
- Is the information biased?
- Is the information slanted?
- Are images used to change opinions?
- Is the date of the last revision stated?
- Is the page up to date?
- Do the links work?
- Is the topic completely covered?
- Is the site under construction?
Another way to evaluate an Internet site is the TEN C's listed below:
- Content - Is the content popular or scholarly? Are the author and title identified? What is the intent? What is the date of the publication?
- Credibility - What is the url extension - Is it a source from .edu, .gov, .org, or a .com - and what might this tell you?
- Critical Thinking - How does this information mesh with your previous knowledge - or with other resources?
- Copyright - Internet users, along with users of print media, must respect copyright.
- Citation - Internet sources should be cited to credit the source.
- Continuity - Will this site be maintained and updated? Can you rely upon it over time? If it is free, is it likely to continue to be free?
- Censorship - Are some words in your search excluded via censorship - will this affect your results?
- Connectivity - If this is a popular and busy resource, will it be easily available at the times when you will need it?
- Comparability - Is there an identified comparable print or CD-ROM data source? (Some sites include partial information online - with complete information offline in a print format.)
- Context - Are you looking for current or historical information on your topic? Are you looking for opinions or research-based statistics?