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Research Guides

Evaluating the Web

Critical Questions

The documents on the World Wide Web (Web pages) can and should be evaluated just like popular and scholarly articles and books.

When you're doing research on the Web, always have in mind these questions:

1.  Who created this web site?  Is this person or organization recognized as an expert?

2.  Who is the publisher?  Does the publisher’s bias affect the information?  (Note: Often the publisher and content creator of the web site are the same, e.g., in personal blogs.)

3.  When was this information published?  Is it current enough for your research? Or, alternatively, is the information from the particular time period that you want to investigate.

4.  Is this information accurate?  Is it an opinion piece?  Are there references to other sources that you can check for accuracy?

5.  Would you use this Website for a paper on this topic?  Why or why not?