Skip to main content

Veterinary Technology Resources: Evaluating Web Info

A guide for veterinary technician and technology students 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).

Google

It is okay to start looking for information using Google (or internet search engine of your choice). However, using Google Scholar can help you target more scholarly information. An added benefit to using Google Scholar is that it provides links to full text articles provided by the Purdue Libraries.

If you are off campus, you can edit the Library Links in Scholar Preferences so Google Scholar will continue to highlight the full text that is available through the Purdue Libraries. 

  • Go to scholar.google.com
  • Click on the Settings wheel at the top of the page
  • Click Library Links on the left side of the page
  • Select Purdue University - Full Text at Purdue and Open WorldCat - Library Search

If you are expected to do a comprehensive literature search, you should consider using some of the scholarly databases provided by the Purdue Libraries.