Quick Check - Evaluating Websites (and Other Sources)
When considering websites (or really any kind of source), ask yourself these questions:
Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view?
Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?
Relevance - How is it relevant to your research? What is its scope?
Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?
Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?
During the research process you will need to evaluate the extent to which the author's perspective or the format in which the information is presented plays a role in quality, relevance, authority, and reliability of a source.
You might already have criteria that you use to evaluate a source. How do you know if a source is credible, authoritative, and relevant?
Other questions you might ask yourself (1):
Who is the author (or creator) of this source? What other works has this person/creator produced? What can you find out about this person(s)/organization? (Keep in mind that an author's/creator's expertise on a given subject may be derived from education, position in society, experience, or other factors.)
For what purpose was this information created and who is the intended audience?
What methods were used to produce the information in this source and when was it produced?
Does this author/source seem to be “in conversation” with other works? In what way might other conversations impact the information in this source?
What perspectives or which voices might be missing from this source? Why might these have been excluded?