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Research Guides

GGR107: Environment, Food and People

How to evaluate a website

 

Ask yourself some of these questions when you're evaluating a website.

Accuracy

  • Is there a bibliography or list of citations?
  • Is the information based on verifiable facts?
  • Do the facts agree with other reputable sources you have found?
  • Are there spelling or grammar mistakes?  (This shows carelessness)

Authority

  • Is there a specific author cited?
  • Does he or she list work at an institution (such as a university or research institute) with a good reputation?
  • What are his/her qualifications?  (PhD, research chair, etc)
  • Is the site sponsored by an organization?

Bias

  • Is the information presented based on fact or opinion?  Is there an obvious bias?
  • Is the site sponsored by an organization?  Might that organization bias the facts presented on its website?
  • Does the author appeal to emotion or to logic?

Audience level

  • Is the website written for children or youth?
  • Are the words used simple or technical?

Currency

  • Does the webpage list a date of publication?  How recently was the website written?
  • Has the website ever been updated?
  • Have there been any significant changes in your topic since this website was written?