Below are two different approaches to evaluating internet sources.
The questions below will help you in evaluate web pages for use as academic sources. Be sure and look at the criteria in multiple categories prior to making a decision regarding the academic quality of a source.
How you located the site can give you a start on your evaluation of the site's validity as an academic resource.
Think of this as "decoding" the URL, or Internet address. The origination of the site can provide indications of the site's mission or purpose. The most common domains are:
Look for information on the author of the site. On the Internet anyone can pose as an authority.
There are no standards or controls on the accuracy of information available via the Internet. The Internet can be used by anyone as a sounding board for their thoughts and opinions.
This is both an indicator of the timeliness of the information and whether or not the page is actively maintained.
The ease of use of a site and its ability to help you locate information you are looking for are examples of the site's functionality.
(adapted from the University of Illinois Undergraduate Library)
(developed by librarians at CSU Chico)
Currency: the timeliness of the information
Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs
Authority: the source of the information
Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content, and
Purpose: the reason the information exists