Evaluating Internet Information

When using Internet resources for research or information, you will want to use evaluation criteria based on your own needs. However, there are some basic guidelines that can be taken into consideration. The following list presents some of the most basic evaluation criteria.

Authority of Source Who is the author?
What are the author's credentials?
Is there an organizational sponsor?
Developed by an educational institution?
Developed by a business or corporation?
What is the reputation of the sponsor or developer?
Accuracy and Objectivity Who is sponsoring the site?
Does author affiliation influence the views presented?
Is there a political perspective?
Is there a cultural or religious bias?
Are there advertisements on the page?
Is the page well written and free of errors?
Has the page been edited, verified or peer reviewed by others?
Are sources cited?
How were statistics or data collected, presented?
Currency Is the information current?
How often is the site updated?
What time span is represented?
Is the resource archived?
Site Organization Is the site easy to use?
Is the information well organized?
Are the formats and speed acceptable?
Is the site searchable?
Is there an index or table of contents?
Is the site reliable?
Purpose Who is the intended audience?
Is the purpose to inform or persuade?
Is the information promotional?
Is the information copyrighted?
Compare with Other Sources Are other sources better (books, periodicals, etc.)
Is there a cost for the service?
Can the information be more easily obtained from another source?
How useful is the information for your purpose?

Last modified June 5, 2001. email Nancy Lombardo

U of U Health