World-Wide Web Virtual Library
Evaluation of information sources
This document is a part of the Information
Quality WWW Virtual Library
With Alastair's retirement from VUW in February 2014, this page is no longer being maintained.
This page contains pointers to criteria for evaluating information resources,
particularly those on the Internet. It is intended to be particularly useful
to librarians and others who are selecting sites to include in an information
resource guide, or informing users as to the qualities they should use
in evaluating Internet information. Feedback and suggestions of other sites
for inclusion are welcomed by the site maintainer, Alastair Smith.
- General selection criteria
Children's Partnership's Guidelines for Content Creation and Evaluation:
Version 1.0/ (October 2003). "As part of our research on how to
evaluate online content to determine if it meets the needs of underserved
Internet users, The Children's Partnership has developed a comprehensive
set of guidelines for creating and evaluating high-quality, accessible Web
sites". [PDF document]
for evaluation of Internet Information Resources/ Alastair Smith
Evaluation of Resources/ Margaret Phillips, UC Berkeley Library.
Suggestions for evaluating a range of resources, including books, articles
and websites. Covers suitablility, authority, other indicators, reference
sources, and provides links.
Evaluation Surveys/ Kathleen Schrock - criteria for elementary,
middle, and secondary school levels.
- An Educators' Guide
to Credibility and Web Evaluation / Toni Greer et al. Website
for a course in internet resource evaluation. Considers "the following factors:
1. Reasons to evaluate; 2. Methods of evaluation; and 3. Teaching Web evaluation".
Web Pages / Jan Alexander and Marsha Ann Tate at Widener University:
provide materials to assist in the teaching of how to evaluate Web resources.
It focuses on teaching how to develop critical thinking skills which can
be applied to evaluating Web pages. Useful evaluation checklists for Advocacy,
Business/Marketing, Information, News, and Personal web Pages. Alexander
and Tait are the authors of Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information
Quality on the Web.
- Evaluating Credibility
of Information on the Internet/ Ronald B. Standler. Essay on adaption
of traditional scientific criteria (peer review, credentials, writing style)
to the Internet. [PDF document]
- Evaluating Foreign
and International Legal Databases on the Internet / Mirela Roznovschi.
Suggests criteria for evaluating legal databases on the Internet.
information found on the Internet/ Elizabeth Kirk, Johns Hopkins
- Evaluating Internet
Research Sources/ Robert Harris, Southern California College. Provides
a set of evaluative tests and advice to readers on how to evaluate web information.
Internet Resources: A checklist/ Infopeople. "Provides
a starting point for evaluating the World Wide Web sites and other Internet
information" - Authority/ Affiliation/ Currency/ Purpose/ Audience/
Compared to What?/ Conclusion.
Internet Resources: An Annotated Guide to Selected Resources Library
of Congress list of links to "a number of such guides representing a variety
of approaches, which together provide an overview of major issues to be
considered when evaluating Internet resources".
- Evaluating Internet Resources: Identity, Affiliation, and Cognitive Authority
in a Networked World/ John W. Fritch and Robert L. Cromwell JASIST
Volume 52, No.6, April, 2001 p. 499-507. Suggests specific steps to establish
authority and bias in web pages. Abstract at http://www.asis.org/Publications/JASIS/vol52n6.html.
- Evaluating Public Websites/ Vaughan C. Judd, Lucy I. Farrow, and Betty J. Tims. Form for evaluating quality of information. Written up in ?Evaluating Public Website Information: A Process and an Instrument,? Reference Services Review, vol. 34, no. 1.
- Evaluating quality
on the net/ Hope Tillman. The classic on web resource evaluation
from a library perspective.
Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask/ Joe Barker,
UC Berkeley Library. What can the URL tell you?/ Scan the perimeter of the
page, looking for answers to these questions..../ Look for indicators of
quality information/ What do others say?/ Does it all add up?/
Web Sites: Criteria and Tools Part of a Cornell University site
on carrying out research. Looks at context, evaluation criteria web reviews
and rankings and includes a Webliography.
criteria for evaluating Web pages - A basic set of criteria (accuracy,
authority, objectivity, currency, coverage) based on: Kapoun, Jim. "Teaching
undergrads WEB evaluation: A guide for library instruction." C&RL
News (July/August 1998): 522-523.
- Getting It Right:
Verifying Sources on the Net/ Sabrina I. Pacifici. This guide provides
strategies and tools to assist you in the task of evaluating website content:
analysing addresses, asking librarians, applying a checklist, checking domain
- The Good,
The Bad & The Ugly: or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources/
Susan E. Beck: discusses criteria of Accuracy, Authority, Objectivity, Currency,
Coverage, with links to examples.
- The good, the bad and the useless: evaluating Internet resources/ Judith
Edwards. Ariadne 16 (July 1998) http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue16/digital
- Critically Analyzing Information Sources/ Cornell University Library
(This deals with information sources in general, but contains useful criteria)
- How To Evaluate
A Web Site/ LaJean Humphries. Lists evaluation sites; gives advice
on training in web evaluation; offers brief criteria: "Is the information
current, accurate and complete?", "Is the information unbiased?", "Quality
T is for Thinking John Henderson's five suggestions when examining
Selection Criteria for WWW Resources/ Carolyn Caywood. A classic.
- Measuring quality
and impact of the world wide web/ Jeremy C Wyatt. BMJ No
7098 Volume 314 28 June 1997. Evaluating medical web sites, includes a useful
table "Aspects of a web site which need to be considered when evaluating
- OASIS: Student Evaluation
Methods for World Wide Web Resources/ ThanhTruc T. Nguyen. An evaluation
tool for high school students to use in selecting appropriate resources
from the World Wide Web as information resources
- Publishers Wanted,
No Experience Necessary: Information Quality on the Web / Genie
Tyburski. Law Library Resource Exchange 24 June 1997. Gives examples
of five characteristics for identifying information quality on the web:
timeliness, expediency, accuracy, objectivity, and authenticity.
- RADCAB - Your Vehicle for Information Evaluation. A mnemonic acronym (Relevancy, Appropriateness, Detail, Currency, Authority, Bias) for information evaluation created by Karen M. Christensson, an elementary school library media specialist.
- The Six A?s for Evaluating Web Content/ Mohamed Taher. Authority, Accuracy, Approach, Age Online, Audience level, Accessibility. PDF of a PowerPoint Presentation.
- Testing the Surf: Criteria for Evaluating Internet Information Resources/
Alastair G. Smith, The Public-Access Computer Systems Review 8, no.
3 (1997) http://journals.tdl.org/pacsr/article/viewFile/6016/5645
Critically about World Wide Web Resources/ Esther Grassian, UCLA
- Thinking Critically about Web 2.0 and Beyond/ Esther Grassian, UCLA
- Thinking Critically about Discipline-Based World Wide Web Resources/ Esther Grassian, UCLA College Library
- Web Credibility Project/
Persuasive Technology Lab, Stanford University. "Our goal is to understand
what leads people to believe what they find on the Web. We hope this knowledge
will enhance Web site design and promote future research on Web credibility".
Includes 10 Guidelines
for Web Credibility, explaining how can you boost your web site's
- WWW CyberGuide Evaluation forms
for Content Evaluation and for Web Site Design/ Karen McLachlan. Framework
for rating sites for instructional purposes.
- Selection criteria used for specific sources. Some of these are less useful
than others, but included to show the range of criteria that are used for
Last modified 28 February 2014 by Alastair