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Evaluating websites

http://elibraryusa.state.gov/

How do I get this???


http://morocco.usembassy.gov/irc/casa.html

Gathering Information
Evaluating Web Pages

Know what kind of website you are looking at

.edu -- educational site (usually a university or


college)

.com -- commercial business site

.gov -- U.S. governmental/non-military site

.mil -- U.S. military sites and agencies

.net -- networks, internet service providers,


organizations

.org -- U.S. non-profit organizations and others

Gathering Information
Evaluating Web Pages
DETERMINING PAGE AUTHORSHIP

You can tell a lot about the authenticity of a page by


finding out all you can about its author/publisher.

Ask yourself this: Who is responsible for the


page you are accessing? Is it a governmental
agency or other official source? A university? A
business, corporation or other commercial
interest? An individual? You can generally rely
on the GOV and EDU hostnames to present
accurate information. The NET, ORG, MIL, and
COM domains are more likely to host pages with
their own personal or organizational agendas
and might require additional verification.

Gathering Information
Evaluating Web Pages
DETERMINING PAGE AUTHORSHIP

Look for links that say "About us," "Philosophy,"


"Background," "Biography", etc.
Truncate back the URL

Truncating a URL

Who is the author of this page


http://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/womenin-the-civil-war

Truncating URLs
http://www.history.com/

Gathering information
Evaluating Web Pages
CHECKING THE VITAL INFORMATION

A reputable Web page will usually provide you with


the following information:

Last date page updated

Mail-to link for questions, comments

Name, address, telephone number, and email


address of page owner

Now ask yourself this: If the page owner is not readily


recognizable, does s/he provide you with credentials
or some information on his sources or authority?

Gathering information
CHECKING THE CONTENT

On the Web, each individual can be his/her own


publisher, and many are. Don't accept everything
you read just because it's printed on a web page.
Unlike scholarly books and journal articles, web
sites are seldom reviewed or refereed. It's up to you
to check for bias and to determine objectivity.
Who sponsors the page? Who is linking to the page,
and what links to other pages does the page itself
maintain?

Gathering information:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/

Gathering information:
https://www.whitehouse.org

Gathering information
CHECKING THE CONTENT

Questions to ask:

Are sources documented with footnotes or links?

Where did the author get the information?


As in published scholarly/academic journals and
books, you should expect documentation.
If there are links to other pages as sources, are
they to reliable sources?
Do the links work?

If reproduced information (from another source),


is it complete, not altered, not fake or forged?

Are there links to other resources on the topic?

Gathering information
This is a really good website:
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Eval
uate.html