How reliable and free from error is the information?
How do you know?
Were there editors and fact checkers?
- Anyone can publish on the Web
- Web resources may not be verified by editors or checked for accuracy
- No standards yet developed
- Web pages move. If you quote this source, will it be available later?
- Web pages are susceptible to accidental and deliberate alteration
What are the author's qualifications and credentials for writing about this subject?
How reputable is the publisher?
- Often difficult to determine authorship of Web sources
- Search engines may retrieve pages out of context making it difficult to know where you are
- If author's name is listed, his/her qualifications are frequently absent
- Publisher responsibility often not indicated or easily found
Is the information presented with a minimum of bias?
To what extent is the information trying to sway the opinion of the audience?
Who is responsible for its dissemination?
- Goals and aims of the people or groups presenting material is often unclear
- Web often functions as a "virtual soapbox"
- Distinction between advertising and information is blurred on Web
Is the content of the work up-to-date?
Is the publication/copyright date clearly labeled?
- Dates not always included on Web pages
- If included, a date may have various meanings:
1. Date information first written
2. Date information placed on Web
3. Date information last revised
Coverage or Scope
What topics are included in the work?
Are the topics included explored in depth?
- Web version may differ from print version of same title
- Often hard to determine extent of Web coverage
Is there a Table of Contents, Index, page numbers to guide you?
Is it easy to navigate and read?
- Is there a contents page, site map, navigation bar?
- Is it easy to navigate and read?
- Are special plug-ins required?
- Is there a way to return to the "home page" to determine the source of the information?