RESEARCH WRITING PROCESS

RESEARCHING A TOPIC

Evaluating a Website

Five Criteria for Evaluating a Website

Evaluation of Web Documents How to Interpret

1. Accuracy of Web Documents

• Who wrote the page and can you contact the
person?
• What is the purpose of the document and why
was it produced?
• Is this person qualified to write this document?

Accuracy
• Make sure author provides email or contact
number
• Know the distinction between author and
webmaster

2. Authority of Web Documents
• Who published the document and is it
separate from the “webmaster”?
• Check the domain of the document, what
institution publishes this document?

Authority
• What credentials are listed for the author(s)?
• Where is the document published? Check URL.

3. Objectivity of Web Documents
• What goals/objectives does this page meet?
• How detailed is the information?
• What opinions (if any) are expressed by the
author?

Objectivity
• Determine if page is a mask for advertising; if
so, information might be biased.
• View any web page as you an infomercial on
TV. Ask yourself why this was written and by
whom?

4. Currency of Web Documents
• When was it produced?
• When was it updated?
• How up to date are the links?

Currency
• How many dead links are on the page?
• Are the links current or updated regularly?
• Is the information on the page outdated?

5. Coverage of the Web Documents
• Are the links (if any) evaluated and do they
complement the document theme?
• Is it all images or a balance of text and images?
• Is the information presented cited correctly?

Coverage
• If page requires special software to view the
information, how much are you missing if you
don’t have the software?
• Is it free, or is there a fee, to obtain the
information?
• Is there an option for text only, or frames, or a
suggested browser for better viewing?

Accuracy – if the page lists the author and institution that published the page and provides a way of
contacting him/her
Authority – if the page lists the author credentials and its domain is preferred (.edu, .gov, .org, or .net)
Objectivity – If the page provides accurate information with limited advertising and it is objective in
presenting the information
Currency – If the page is current and updated regularly (as stated on the page) and the links (if any) are up
to date
Coverage – if information can be viewed properly – not limited to fees, browser technology, or software
requirements,


THEN – YOU MAY HAVE A QUALITY WEBSITE THAT COULD BE OF VALUE TO YOUR RESEARCH!