The questions below will help you to evaluate web pages for use as academic sources. Be sure and look at the criteria in multiple categories prior to making a decision regarding the academic quality of a source.
How you located the site can give you a start on your evaluation of the site's validity as an academic resource.
Think of this as "decoding" the URL, or Internet address. The origination of the site can provide indications of the site's mission or purpose. The most common domains are:
On the Internet anyone can pose as an authority. Look for information on the author of the site, usually on the “About” page. Is the author's name visible?
Knowing the motive behind the page’s creation can help you judge its content. The Internet can be used by anyone as a sounding board for their thoughts and opinions.
There are no standards or controls on the accuracy of information available via the Internet. Can you verify any of the information in independent sources or from your own knowledge?
The Internet can be used by anyone as a sounding board for their thoughts and opinions.
This is both an indicator of the timeliness of the information and whether or not the page is actively maintained.
The ease of use of a site and its ability to help you locate information you are looking for are examples of the site's functionality.
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