Evaluating Websites


1. Accuracy of Web Documents

  • Who wrote the page and can you contact him or her?
  • What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced?
  • Is this person qualified to write this document?

Evaluating Websites 2. Authority of Web Documents

  • Who published the document and is it separate from the "Webmaster?"
  • Check the domain of the document, what institution publishes this document?
  • Does the publisher list his or her qualifications?

3. Objectivity of Web Documents

  • What goals/objectives does this page meet?
  • How detailed is the information?
  • What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author?
  • Determine if page is a mask for advertising; if so information might be biased.
  • View any Web page as you would an "infomercial" on television. Ask yourself why was this written and for whom?

4. Currency of Web Documents

  • When was it produced?
  • When was it updated'
  • How up-to-date are the links (if any)?
  • How many dead links are on the page?
  • Are the links current or updated regularly?
  • Is the information on the page outdated?

5. Coverage of the Web Documents

  • Are the links (if any) evaluated and do they complement the documents' theme?
  • Is it all images or a balance of text and images?
  • Is the information presented cited correctly?
  • Is it free or is there a fee, to obtain the information?


Kapoun, Jim. "Teaching undergrads WEB evaluation: A guide for library instruction." C&RL News (July/August 1998): 522-523. Reprinted with permission of the author.