According to nmsu.edu, There are 5major yardsticks to keep in mind while trying to evaluate a website: “
1- Authority :The authority of a webpage can be established by finding answers to these questions :
- Is there an author ? If so, is there a way to contact him/her ?
- Is the page signed ?
- Is the author qualified ? An expert in his domain ? ( you can learn about this from his ” about us ” page if he has one.
- Is there a link to the information about the author or the sponsor of the website ? If the pages does not include no author name of sponsor, then is there any other way to determine its origin ?
2- AccuracyTo establish accuracy in a web page you need to ask yourself these questions :
- Is the information reliable ?
- Is it error-free ?
- Does it include links to other resources ?
- Is there an editor or someone who verifies and checks information ?
3- Objectivity :To look for objectivity in a web age you need to ask the following questions :
- Does the information show a minimum of bias ?
- Is the author impartial in his reasoning ?
- Is the page designed to sway opinions ?
- How much advertising on the page ?
4- CurrencyTo investigate about this feature ask the following :
- Is the page dated ?
- How often is it dated ?
- What is the last time the page updated ?
- How current are the links? Have some expired or moved ?
5- Coverage :to learn about a web page coverage you need to ask the following questions :
- what topics this website cover ?
- What is it that this page offer to readers ?
- How in-depth is the material ?
- What about the writing style, arguments, data , and facts included ? how are these developed ? “
More evaluation tools
We have read several articles about this topic while we were working on this post but we did not find anything better than the neat and clear-cut classification of the web evaluation tools Cornell University Library has provided. Of course some of the things they included have already been mentioned above but there are many more to learn about. Here is a summary of what they have written:
“Evaluation criteria according to Cornell University Library :
- Date of publication
- Edition or Revision
- Title of Journal
- Intended Audience
- Objective Reasoning
- Writing Style
- Evaluative reviews
Evaluating Web pages : Questions to ask ? ( always according to Cornell University Library )
- What can the URL tell you /
- Who wrote the page ? is he,she, or the authoring institution a qualified authority ?
- Is it dated ? Current, timely ?
- Is information cited authentic ?
- Does the page have overall integrity and reliability as a source ?
- What the bias ?
- Could the page or site be iconic, like a satire or a spoof ?
- If you have questions or reservations, how can you satisfy them ? “
1- Cybraryman links
2- Finding and Evaluating Websites Assignments
3- Evaluating Web pages
4- Evaluating and Using Print and Media Resources
5- Comparing and Evaluating Web Information Resources
6- Check-list for Evaluating Web Resources