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How to Evaluate Websites

Web sites need to be evaluated carefully.  Anyone can purchase a domain name and enter information.  For example, check out this professional looking site:  Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus (Home Access Only).  Looks good, provides a vast amount of information and images.  Would you use this as a resource for a project on the "Octopus"?  Probably, yes.  Now, click on the link Tree Octopus, Wikipedia.

Bogus Web sites - here are links to a few other legitimate looking web sites, but beware...   (some of the links may be Home Access Only).

To avoid these kind of situations, you need to EVALUATE ANY WEBSITES  before you use them as sources.  

How to tell if the Information on a Website is REAL (Read, Examine, Author, Links) - download this Word document with tips and tricks to evaluating and researching web sites 

Here are a few links that you can review that will help you determine if the website is reliable, accurate, current, unbiased, and provides the information you need. 

Taft College Information Competency

The Internet Detective:

    The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

    Detective Work

    Case of Questionable Content

    Keep to the Right Side of the Law

Evaluation Criteria will link to examples of web sites that you can try to evaluate for Authority (whose website is it), Accuracy (reliable), Objectivity (bias, designed to sway opinion), Currency (how old is the information), and Coverage (what is covered, in-depth material)

Ithaca College Library link to A Guide to Critical Thinking About What You See on the Web is a very good source.  You can also take a QUIZ to see how well you can evaluate a site and then there is One More St*p*d Assignment,

Evaluate the website with a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down approach to see if it's one you would want to use.