When evaluating information sources, particulary those found online, it is critically important to consider the following criteria:
- Can the information presented be verified?
- Is the information well written (good grammer, no typos, correct punctuation, etc)?
- Is the information cited properly?
- Do other reputable sites link to it?
- Who is publishing this content? Is it a individual, a group, an organization etc? What do we know about them?
- Who is the author? Are the names provided? Is there contact information provided (ie. an email address)
- What do you know of the author's credentials? Are they an 'expert' in this area of interest? What is their reputation?
- When was the information published online? Is a date visible?
- Is the website up to date? Refreshed regularly? Are there dead links?
- What is the purpose of the website? (To inform, explain, persuade, sell?)
- Is the information written for a specific audience? Could the intended audience be high school students, university scholars, etc? (Consider the tone and language of the words) Does this still make it appropriate or not for your research?
- Is the information presented objectively? Are different perspectives included?
- Do you detect a bias in the information and how it is presented? Does this bias detract from the usefulness of the information?
More information on Evaluating Web Resources