Accuracy of Web Documents
1. Make sure the author provides an email or a contact address/phone number. Who wrote the page and can you contact him or her? 2. What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced? Some webpages are produced for commercial, education, humor, advertising, commercial, and government based. 3. Is this person qualified to write this document? Is the author a webmaster, or just an author?
Authority of Web Documents
1. Who published the document and is it separate from the “Webmaster?” Look for the authors name near the top or bottom of the page. If you can’t find a name look for a copyright credit or link to an organization. 2. Check the domain of the document, what institution publishes this document? Is the domain (.com, .edu, .org, etc.) legit? Look for an “about this site” link. 3. Does the publisher list his or her qualifications? Can you verify the author’s credentials? Could those credentials be made up?
Objectivity of Web Documents
1. What goals/objectives does this page meet? Is the author being biased or objective? Biased info must be taken into consideration when interpreting info given. Is the author fair, balanced and moderate in his views? 2. How detailed is the information? Look at the facts the author provides and the facts he doesn’t provide. Are the facts accurately and completely cited? 3. What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author? Based on the authors authority, is there a conflict of interest? Determine if advertising is clearly the objective of the page.
Currency of Web Documents
1. When was it produced? Is there a date at the bottom or top of the page? Is the info up-to-date? A recent date doesn’t necessarily mean current info. The info may be years old, but just recently updated. Compare info to other pages and sources. 2. When was it updated? Was the update just an email change or fixing a typo? 3. How up-to-date are the links (if any)? Are there any broken links or links that lead to incorrect pages? Information in science, technology and business fields tend to get outdated quickly.
Coverage of the Web Documents
1. Are the links (if any) evaluated and do they complement the documents’ themes? Does the author support the information he uses? If the page requires special software to view the information, how much would u miss without the software? 2. Is it all images or a balance of text and images? Is there an option for text only or suggested browser for better viewing? 3. Is the information presented cited correctly? Does the page cite well know sources? Does the page use a variety of sources? The web page should have a mix of internal links and external links (links to other sources or experts).