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Evaluating Websites


  • Is the website updated and maintained?
  • How current is the information?
  • Understand that the phrase "Last updated" could just indicate simple stylistic changes in colors or layout - not necessarily any updates or corrections of the page's content.


  • Does the information meet your research needs?
  • Is the information basic or advanced?
  • Is coverage of the topic complete or does it leave out important information?
  • Does it offer different perspectives?
  • Is there a bibliography? Are the sources mentioned relevant and credible?
  • How does the content compare to other resources on the topic?


  • Who authored the website?
  • Are they an authority on the subject?
  • If the author is an organization, what do you know about its purpose?


  • Can the accuracy of the information presented be verified via non-web sources?
  • Are there basic spelling or grammatical errors?
  • Is it written for a specific audience?
  • Does the information fit in with other sources you have found on the topic?
  • Does the author use footnotes or other source citations to verify their information?


  • Does the site present fact or opinion?
  • Is the purpose of the site to inform? To sell? To persuade?
  • Does the site show multiple sides of an issue? Bias does not necessarily mean you must reject a source, but be sure that you can identify it.
  • Who is the intended audience? Advanced researchers? Young students? Members of an organization?
  • Is there advertising?

The information presented here was adapted from Iowa State University's Evaluating Websites: Information Literacy Guide.