Website Evaluation

Evaluating Website Resource:


Elements of Web Site Evaluation


  • Author’s credentials
  • Known or respected source
  • Is the information documented?
  • Is there any way to contact the author?
  • Does the information belong to those who provide it? (i.e., no copyright violations, fabrications, etc.)


  • Does this information need to be current?
  • Do the links work?
  • Information sites vs. recreational sites
    • Is accuracy required for your purposes?

Balanced Treatment

  • Be able to spot point-of-view
    • Is a site fair and objective?
    • Is it an advocacy site? Advocacy sites are biased by definition.
    • Is there a conflict of interest? Does the website producer stand to benefit from the information being provided?
    How important is balance? Is it required for your purposes?
    • For example, do enthusiasts' sites, novelty sites, and advocacy sites need to be unbiased?

      The Dark Side: Techniques used to deceive or mislead

    • Deception and mimicry -- acting like something you are not
    • Co-opting symbols and traditions to use in other contexts
    • Calling on a higher authority (e.g., religion, country, etc.) to justify a position
    • The Plain Folks technique – “We are like everyone else”
    • Using patriotism and pride in citizenship to justify a position
    • Pseudoscience - using scientific-sounding references to justify a position