Evaluating Web Resources: What Makes a Credible Website?

This guide helps with assessing websites, blogs and other online tools.

    Evaluating Web Sites

Information on the internet is mostly unfiltered, requiring extra caution in selecting reliable sources. Virtually anyone can create a web site on a topic, regardless of their training, education, or experience in the subject field.  You may also find e-mail messages and newsgroup postings in your search results, as well as business-related or commercial sites, posted by companies whose primary purpose is to convince consumers of the value of their products or services. 
 
When evaluating a web site, check these basic points:  

  • Author or contact person – usually located in the footer 
  • Link to local home page – usually located in either header or footer 
  • Institution – usually located in either header or footer 
  • Domain – the last segment of the "root" of the URL (for example, http://www.berry.edu)
  • Date of creation or revision – usually located in footer 
  • Intended audience – determined by examining the body 
  • Purpose of the information – determined by examining the body

Quick Links

Handouts

The following PDFs provide more tools for evaluating websites. Use the checklist to help in critically analyzing a questionable website or blog.

Fun Tutorial on Web Resources