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This grid provides criteria to evaluate a web site to distinguish between reliable and unreliable information on the web.

Because anyone can publish on the Web, it is important to be able to distinguish between reliable and unreliable web sites. Consider all of the following criteria when evaluating a web site.

Criteria
Factors
Authority



 
CheckBox  Who wrote it?
CheckBox  What are their qualifications?
CheckBox  Are they experts?
CheckBox  Who published/hosted it?
CheckBox  Is the publisher/host reputable?
Objectivity
 
CheckBox  Why was this site created?
CheckBox  Is this fact or opinion?
CheckBox  Is it biased?
Accuracy

 
CheckBox  Is this true?
CheckBox  Can you tell where they got their information?
CheckBox  Can you find this information elsewhere?
Currency
 
CheckBox  When was this information published or last updated?
CheckBox  Is it current enough for your research?

TIPS:

  • The author and publisher/host may be the same. For example, if you don’t see an author’s name on an organization’s website, then the organization is both the author and the publisher.

  • You may not find all of your answers on the web page provided. You may have to look at other pages on the web site (look for an “about” link, for example) or search the web for more information about the person or organization that created the web site.

  • Weigh all four criteria when making your decision. For example, the information may appear accurate, but if the authority is suspect you may want to find a more authoritative site for your information.