Evaluating Web Resources: Checklist
The following checklist is designed to help you assess whether a web resource
is a valid source of information. There may be other criteria you would
look for in addition to these. If you have any suggested additions and/or
corrections to the checklist, please contact Sharon
The five W's of journalism and writing may be applied to the evaluation
of web resources. I have added H as well; i.e., How?
The Five W's (and 1 H) of Evaluating Web Resources
Things to Look For
- Who is the author?
- - credentials
- - affiliation
- - reputation
- Is the author easily identifiable?
- Link to biographical information
- Email address or other contact information
- Institutional affiliation and address/phone number
- Domain name
- Site you got here from (was it one you trust?)
- What is the purpose?
- - informative
- - entertainment
- - influence or persuade
- - keep one current
- - advertisement
- - infomercial
- - other?
- What is the point of view?
- - objective
- - biased
- - propaganda
- What is the coverage?
- What is the intended audience or level at which the site/page
- Statement of purpose or introduction to the site/page
- "About us" link
Advertisements (obvious as well as hidden)
- Domain name can give clues as to intended audience
- Where are you?
- Where is the information from?
- - is it accurate?
- - are there citations to original source(s)?
- - bibliography or list of references?
- Where are related sites - are there links to them?
- Where can you corroborate or confirm the information presented?
- Header and/or footer
- URL -dissect it if necessary
- Footnotes and/or bibliography
- Links within the text or a list of separate links
- Address and/or phone number
- When was the page/site created?
- When was the last update?
- - is the page/site regularly updated?
- - is there a place to send comments and/or suggestions?
- When were links checked and dead links removed?
- Footer for date of creation, updating, link checking, etc.
- Contact info for page/site "meister"
- Mailto: link for site/page maintainer
- Why is this page/site unique?
- Why is this page/site relevant?
- Why was this document produced?
- Why is there advertising or sponsorship for this page/site?
- Statement of introduction or purpose
- Information about the organization or institution
- How accessible is the page/site?
- How is the page/site organized?
- How graphic intensive is the page/site? Do graphics add
or detract from the page/site?
- How do you navigate about the site/page? Is it easy?
- How are hyperlinks indicated?
- How long does the page take to load?
- Navigation tools such as buttons, links, tables of contents, etc.
- Colors of link text and whether they are underlined
- Organization guides such as tables of contents, directories at beginning
of page/site, etc.