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Resources for A & I Classes [VM 82000-85000]: Evaluating Web Sites

A Guide for Veterinary Students in Applications & Integrations Courses at Purdue University

ABCs of Evaluating A Web Page or Site

Accuracy / Authority

  • Is the information correct, factual, and comprehensive?
  • If statistics are included, are their sources identified?
  • Are the author's credentials identified? Is there a way to contact him/her?
  • What sources (articles, books, other web sites, etc.) does the author cite?
  • Is the publisher a well-known, reliable institution/organization?
  • Does it list a preferred domain, e. g. -

.edu (educational),

.gov (governmental),

.org (organization), or

.com (commercial),

  • Is there evidence of quality control (can you check the information in another source)?
  • Is it refereed or peer reviewed?

Balance / Bias

  • Does the information present a balanced, reasonable viewpoint?
  • Is the page trying to influence you? Does it appear to contradict itself or distort reality?
  • Is there any product or service advertisement on the page? If so, check for bias.

Currency / Coverage / Content

  • Was the page produced or revised recently?
  • Are the links active & current?
  • Is information updated regularly (as stated on the page), including links, statistics, and illustrations?
  • Is the language of the page technical or written for a nonprofessional?
  • Is the information free, or is there a fee to obtain the information?
  • Is the page/site stable? Can others access it easily? Can you rely on this site?
  • Are the links pertinent to the page topic(s)?
  • Is the content comprehensive in scope?

Additional Source:

Evaluating Print vs Internet Sources - Tips from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).