When you use library resources, you can generally assume that they have been evaluated and pre-selected for your use.
When using a website, you need to evaluate it yourself, to determine whether it is a trustworthy and accurate source.
Website Evaluation Criteria
- When was the content produced or written?
- For online content, when was it last updated?
- Does the research question require that you gather current, up-to-date information?
- Does this resource help to answer your research question?
- How does this resource add to your knowledge about the topic?
- Might there be a better, more relevant resource?
- Who wrote it?
- What makes the person an authority on the topic?
- What are the author’s credentials?
- Does the content seem too incredible to be true? Does it include claims that seem sensational or designed purely to grab your attention?
- Does the information appear to have been put together with care (for example, without spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, broken links, etc.)?
- Does the author provide any documentation/sources to support his/her claims?
- Could this be satire, a hoax, or “fake news”?
- Why was the information published?
- Does the author present facts or opinions, or a mixture of the two?
- Is the purpose to inform the reader, to sell something, or some combination?
- Is there advertising on the site? Does the site require you to register and/or share personal information?