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Evaluating Websites

A guide to help students determine the accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, and coverage of websites.

Criteria for Finding Quality Sites

When you use a search engine, guide, or directory to find websites related to your research topic, how do you know that what you find is useful and reliable?  Learn to critically evaluate a website, you'll be able to make that determination.  In this guide, we'll give you some criteria you can use to find reliable, high quality information on the open web.

In evaluating web resources, there are five questions you should try to answer:

Accuracy Is the information factual and accurate?

Authority Is it clear who the author is?

Content/Objectivity What is the purpose of the page or site?

Currency How recent is the information? Can you tell when the information was first created or last updated? 

Documentation/Coverage Does the page verify or document it's claims?

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