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Basic Criteria for Evaluation Web Information

The following are factors that you may want to take into account when evaluating a website.  Please see our "Finding Internet web sites" page for more evaluation criteria.

AUTHORITY

  • Who's responsible for content?
  • Reputation of author/group?
  • Author/group affiliation apparent?
  • Email link to author/group?
  • Information verifiable?
  • What have reviews said?

AUDIENCE

  • Purpose made clear immediately?
  • Audience identified immediately?
  • Content appropriate?
  • Reading level appropriate?
  • Graphics appropriate
  • Organization appropriate?
  • Meets needs of intended audience?

SCOPE

  • Detailed or Overview?
  • Links to other sites?
  • Contains original Content?
  • Abstracted or full-text?
  • Time periods covered?
  • Subjects covered
  • Scope stated or only implied?

ACCURACY

  • Balanced or biased?
  • Sources cited?
  • Verifiable?
  • Done comparison testing?

CURRENCY

  • Updated how often?
  • Pages dated?
  • Source of the information?
  • Static or dynamic content?
  • Links/pages updated often?
  • Lots of "dead links"?
  • Is there a copyright date?

FORMAT/APPEARANCE

  • Designed well?
  • Organization easy to deduce?
  • Information where you expect to find it?
  • Navigation buttons lead where they should?
  • Graphics load quickly?
  • Text well written, not wordy?
  • Graphics add to site not detract?

FUNCTIONALITY

  • Available when you need it?
  • Server response time?
  • Page load limit?
  • Low-bandwidth version available?
  • Need extra software/plug-ins?
  • Work with graphic and non-graphic browsers?

SEARCHABILITY

  • Intuitive search engine?
  • Adequate search help, samples?
  • What percentage is searchable?
  • How long do searches take?

UNIQUENESS

  • Commonly available in other formats?
  • Difficult to locate?
  • Unique to the Net?
  • Compliment to other materials?

HELP FOR VISITORS

  • Help files available in a consistent place?
  • In-context help?
  • Written for target audience?
  • Use of "techie talk" kept to a minimum?
  • Different help files for different visitors?

Adapted from an OHIONET workshop by Gail Junion-Metz of Information Age Consultants, Columbus, Ohio, December 3, 1997.

Last Updated: 3/22/15