Politics 303: Criteria for Evaluating Web Resources


                    1. Purpose

                         Is there a section that explains the resource's purpose,

                         e.g., "This is what we're doing, and why we're doing it..."

                         Is scope specifically stated? Do the contents match the stated scope?

                         Who is the intended audience?

                         What is the host's motivation for providing the information

                         on the Web? Advertising for profit, part of agency's mission,

                         educational purposes, publicizing a particular agenda?

                         Information about the site can be obtained by examining

                         the last three letters (domain code) of the host address:

                              .com = commercial source

                              .gov = government agency

                              .org = non-profit organization

                              .net = consortium (profit or non-profit)

                              .edu = educational institution


                    2. Content

                         Is the information accurate?

                         Is the information verifiable?

                         Is point of view stated?

                         Is objectivity a factor?

                         Is the text well written? Is it written in the language of the


                         Who is the intended audience of the source?

                         Does the source have features, such as charts, illustrations,

                         or a bibliography, that will be helpful?

                         What sources did the author use to gather the information?

                         Is the method of obtaining data accurate and dependable?

                         Are the links to other resources up to date? Are links to

                         other Web resources labeled clearly?

                         Is the page finished, or still under construction?


                    3. Authority

                         Who is the author?

                         What is the status of the author?

                         Can author be contacted?

                         Is the publisher reputable?

                         Does the author provide any credentials demonstrating

                         expertise and/or knowledge of the subject?

                         Does the institution or organization supporting the Web

                         page identify its address and phone number? Does it clearly

                         state the mission? Does it have an established reputation?

                         Is the information needed to prepare a citation easily found?


                    4. Currency & Accuracy

                         How frequently is the resource updated?

                         Are facts, such as statistics, verifiable? Is the source of the information cited?

                         Does the resource contain grammatical, spelling or typographical errors?

                         Does the Web page indicate the last time the information was updated?

                         Is there a stated commitment to regular updating and

                         maintenance of the information?



See also