World-Wide Web Virtual Library
Evaluation of information sources
This document is a part of the Information
Quality WWW Virtual Library
This page contains pointers to criteria for evaluating information resources,
particularly those on the Internet. It is intended to be particularly useful
to librarians and others who are selecting sites to include in an information
resource guide, or informing users as to the qualities they should use
in evaluating Internet information. Feedback and suggestions of other sites
for inclusion are welcomed by the site maintainer, Alastair Smith.
General selection criteria
on Evaluating Internet Resources/ Nicole Auer, Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University.
Resource evaluation for BIOME- detailed criteria used for selecting resources for this UK guide to biomedical information.
Brandt, D. Scott (May 1996). Evaluating Information on the Internet. Computers
in Libraries 16(5) (May 1996): 44-46. Available at http://thorplus.lib.purdue.edu/~techman/evaluate.htm
Criteria for Assessing
the Quality of Health Information on the Internet - Policy Paper/ Health
Summit Working Group. Presents a set of seven criteria developed for use
in evaluating the quality of health information provided on the Internet.
Used to develop the Information
Quality Tool "The IQ Tool helps you become an educated consumer by
helping you ask the right questions".
Evaluation of Resources/ Margaret Phillips, UC Berkeley Library. Suggestions
for evaluating a range of resources, including books, articles and websites.
Covers suitablility, authority, other indicators, reference sources, and
Criteria for evaluation
of Internet Information Resources/ Alastair Smith
Surveys/ Kathleen Schrock - criteria for elementary, middle, and secondary
criteria. This list is based on Reva Basch's article in October 1990
Database Searcher, Measuring the Quality of the Data, and relates
particularly to online bibliographic databases.
Developing Web Site Selection Criteria/ James Testa. Outlines the
process ISI uses to evaluate web sites for inclusion in its databases.
Ed's OASIS: with examples of criteria/worksheets for evaluating educational
sites, and examples from a teacher's and a student's point of view.
An Educators' Guide to Credibility and Web Evaluation / Toni Greer et al. Website for a course in internet resource evaluation. Considers "the following factors: 1. Reasons to evaluate; 2. Methods of evaluation; and 3. Teaching Web evaluation".
Evaluate Web Resources http://www.clubi.ie/webserch/resources/index.htm
Detailed checklist under: Introduction, Source, Site/Article, Content,
Structure/ Navigation, Links, Site Integrity/ Access
Evaluating Foreign and International Legal Databases on the Internet
Mirela Roznovschi. Suggests criteria for evaluating legal databases on
- Evaluating Health Web Sites/ Jana Allcock. "Points to look at when evaluating health sites".
information found on the Internet/ Elizabeth Kirk, Johns Hopkins University
Information: Some questions to help you judge Online Information/ Jacob Hespeler Library
Internet Research Sources/ Robert Harris, Southern California College.
Provides a set of evaluative tests and advice to readers on how to evaluate
Resources: A checklist/ Infopeople. "Provides a starting point
for evaluating the World Wide Web sites and other Internet information" -
Authority/ Affiliation/ Currency/ Purpose/ Audience/ Compared to What?/
- Evaluating Internet Resources: An Annotated Guide to Selected Resources Library of Congress list of links to "a number of such guides representing a variety of approaches, which together provide an overview of major issues to be considered when evaluating Internet resources".
- "Evaluating Internet Resources: Identity, Affiliation, and Cognitive
Authority in a Networked World." John W. Fritch and Robert L. Cromwell
JASIST Volume 52, No.6, April, 2001 p. 499-507. Suggests specific steps to establish authority and bias in web pages. Abstract at http://www.asis.org/Publications/JASIS/vol52n6.html.
Evaluating quality on
the net/ Hope Tillman
Evaluating the quality of web sites/ E. Barbara Meyer. Some basic points: Who is responsible? Is the URL appropriate? Who do they link to? Who links to them? Use common sense.
Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask/ Joe Barker, UC
Berkeley Library. What can the URL tell you?/ Scan the perimeter of the page,
looking for answers to these questions..../ Look for indicators of quality
information/ What do others say?/ Does it all add up?/
Evaluating Web Sites/
Sandra Wittman. A brief list of criteria, and links to related sites.
Websites / William Trochim: describes a project to evaluate website
Web Sites: Criteria and Tools Part of a Cornell University site on
carrying out research. Looks at context, evaluation criteria web reviews
and rankings and includes a Webliography.
of Web Sites/ Ohio State University Libraries. Brief frames based tutorial
with links to example sites. "Goal: Become an informed consumer of Web-based
information. Time: 15-30 minutes"
for Websites - includes forms ("rubrics") that rubrics that either
primary, intermediate, or secondary students can use to evaluate websites.
Part of a larger site with information on establishing school web sites.
criteria for evaluating Web pages - A basic set of criteria (accuracy,
authority, objectivity, currency, coverage) based on: Kapoun, Jim. "Teaching
undergrads WEB evaluation: A guide for library instruction." C&RL
News (July/August 1998): 522-523.
Getting It Right:
Verifying Sources on the Net/ Sabrina I. Pacifici. This guide provides
strategies and tools to assist you in the task of evaluating website content:
analysing addresses, asking librarians, applying a checklist, checking domain
Edwards, Judith (1998). The good, the bad and the useless: evaluating Internet
resources. Ariadne 16 (July) http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue16/digital/
The Good, The Bad
& The Ugly: or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources/ Susan
E. Beck: discusses criteria of Accuracy, Authority, Objectivity, Currency,
Coverage, with links to examples.
to Critically Analyze Information Sources/ Cornell University Library
(This deals with information sources in general, but contains useful criteria)
How To Evaluate A Web Site/ LaJean Humphries. Lists evaluation sites; gives advice on training in web evaluation; offers brief criteria: "Is the information current, accurate and complete?", "Is the information unbiased?", "Quality of writing".
How to Evaluate
Medical Information Found on the Internet/ California Medical Association.
"Suggestions for judging the reliability and quality of health and medical
information found via internet resources, from staff of the Food & Drug
Administration (FDA), plus additional commentary by CMA Library staff".
is for Thinking John Henderson's five suggestions when examining Web
an interactive tutorial on evaluating the quality of Internet resources.
"An informal but comprehensive online tutorial designed to teach the skills
required to critically evaluate the quality of information found on the
Internet. The tutorial includes interactive quizzes, worked examples and
practical hint and tips. ...Uses the TONIC-NG system hosted at Netskills"
Student Evaluation Methods for World Wide Web Resources/ ThanhTruc T. Nguyen. An evaluation tool for high school students to use in selecting appropriate resources from the World Wide Web as information resources
Validation Project/ Memorial University of Newfoundland - guidelines
for evaluating web sources used in student work.
Criteria for WWW Resources/ Carolyn Caywood
Measuring quality and
impact of the world wide web/ Jeremy C Wyatt. BMJ No 7098 Volume
314 28 June 1997. Evaluating medical web sites, includes a useful table
"Aspects of a web site which need to be considered when evaluating its
Clement, Gail P. Pharmaceutical
Resources on the Internet: Criteria for Assessing Quality and Value.
Publishers Wanted, No
Experience Necessary: Information Quality on the Web / Genie Tyburski.
Library Resource Exchange 24 June 1997. Gives examples of five characteristics
for identifying information quality on the web: timeliness, expediency,
accuracy, objectivity, and authenticity.
and information evaluation/ Lisa Janicke
What Makes a Great Web site? From ALA's ALSC Children and Technology
Committee, the selection guidelines from 700+
Great Sites for Children
Smith, Alastair G. (1997) Testing the Surf: Criteria for Evaluating Internet
Information Resources. The Public-Access Computer Systems Review
8, no. 3 http://info.lib.uh.edu/pr/v8/n3/smit8n3.html
on BUBL/ Traugott Koch. This evaluation of BUBL includes some useful
evaluation criteria that could be applied to other resources.
Critical Evaluation Skills for World Wide Web Resources
Jan Alexander and Marsha Ann Tate at Widener University: provide materials
to assist in the teaching of how to evaluate Web resources. It focuses
on teaching how to develop critical thinking skills which can be applied
to evaluating Web pages. Useful evaluation checklists for Advocacy, Business/Marketing,
Informationa, News, and Personal web Pages. Presentation on Advertising
and Sponsorship on the Web. Alexander and Tait are the authors of Web
Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web.
Critically about World Wide Web Resources/ Esther Grassian, UCLA College
Tips for Evaluating
A World Wide Web Search/ Jana Edwards, University of Florida. Guidelines
for evaluating a WWW search result under the headings: author/creator?
Who publishes or maintains? current information? format? bias?
Web Credibility Project/ Persuasive Technology Lab, Stanford University. "Our goal is to understand what leads people to believe what they find on the Web. We hope this knowledge will enhance Web site design and promote future research on Web credibility". Includes 10 Guidelines for Web Credibility, explaining how can you boost your web site's credibility.
WWW CyberGuide Ratings for Content
Evaluation and for Web Site Design/ Karen McLachlan. Framework for rating sites for instructional
Selection criteria used for specific sources. Some of these are less useful
than others, but included to show the range of criteria that are used for
Last modified 5 December 2002 by Alastair
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