This is the "Thinking about Information: Evaluation Criteria" page of the "Evaluate Online Sources" guide.
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Evaluate Online Sources   Tags: evaluating online sources  

Tips and checklist for evaluation information you find
Last Updated: Nov 26, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Thinking about Information: Evaluation Criteria Print Page

Good Source or Not?


Evaluating Web Resources Checklist

Be sure to save the following:

  • Title of Source
  • URL/Web address
  • Author’s Name (if known)
  • Date of publication, broadcast, or last revision

Evaluate site based on criteria below:


  • Author/Organization is identifiable, i.e. information about the author or institutional affiliation and address are offered.
  • Sponsor/location of the site (identified by URL or web address) is appropriate to the material, i.e. .edu for educational or research material.
  • Contact information for the author or creator included. 
  • Email or submission form offered for questions or comments. 


  • Content relevant and useful. 
  • Includes a list of additional print or electronic sources.
  • Links included relevant and appropriate to the site.


  • Includes a publication or last revision date
  • Includes a date of copyright, publication, or broadcast.


  • Intended audience is easily identifiable.
  • Intent of information (to inform, teach, sell, persuade, entertain or enlighten) is clearly stated or implied.


  • Includes references or displays knowledge of related sources, with proper attribution.
  • Includes a bibliography or appropriate credits.
  • Author provides both sides of the argument with no evidence of bias.
  • Author has a bias (i.e. corporate, issue-based or perspective), if so, identify

When evaluating the information for usefulness in relation to a research project, although site design or appearance is often given the most weight in determining credibility, the above will be more important!


  • Layout is clear and logical with well-organized subsections.
  • Navigation is easy, includes clearly labeled Back, Home, Go To Top icons/links and internal indexing links on lengthy pages.
  • Site loads quickly and is readily accessible.
  • Graphics and art serve a function.
  • All links to remote sites work.
  • Communication style is appropriate for intended audience.
  • Audio or text follows basic rules of grammar, spelling and composition.


Evaluating Web Resources Checklist

Use this checklist to help you determine whether or not a information source you find will be credible, authoritative and worthy of referencing.

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