Evaluating Internet resources
With millions of documents on the Internet, there’s plenty of information to choose from. When doing your research, be sure to look at your results carefully and remember that some web pages are written by experts and some are written by those with little or no knowledge on the subject. The following guide will be useful when evaluating Internet resources:
- Who wrote the page? Look for the author’s name or © link to an organization
- What are the author’s credentials? Look for information about the author or his or her affiliations to an organization
- Did the author include contact information? Look for an email link, address, or phone number
- Whose website is it? What organization is sponsoring the web page? Look at the “domain” (.com, .edu, .org, etc.)
- What is the purpose of the page? Why did the author create it? Look to see if it was created for entertainment, educational purposes, or for marketing
- Who is the target audience? Look for the reading level of the page and consider the design
- Is the date current? Look for a recent date
- Is the information up-to-date? Compare the information on the web page to information from other sources
Objectivity vs. biased
- “Is the author being objective or biased?Look at the facts the author provides. Are the author’s views fair?
- Does the author support the information he or she uses?Look for links or citations to sources.
- Is the support respectable?Does the page cite well-known sources or authorities?