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Just ‘cause you found it on the internet
doesn’t mean it is any good!
Before you use a website, look it over
and consider the following four areas
and the questions they raise.
Authority: Who owns this site? Who is the author? Is it sponsored by an organization you know?
- Checking out the URL (address) can help you understand ownership and intent:
.com is a commercial (for profit) site
.org is non-profit or non-commercial
.edu is an educational site - US public schools also include K12 in the address
.gov indicates a US government site
.mil is the US military
.jp .ca .au or .uk indicate a site in a foreign country
- Is the site published on Geocities, Angelfire or other free site?
- Is the author or organization that created or owns the website clearly stated?
- Can you contact them by email, snail mail and/or a telephone number listed on the site?
- Is the author an expert or an authority on the subject? Does he/she cite their sources?
Accuracy: Does this site inspire confidence? Do you trust the info?
- Is the information on the site factual and relevant?
- Are facts backed up by sources?
- Are there spelling or grammatical errors?
Is there excess profanity, slang or jargon?
- Is the site logical and easy to use? Does it load quickly and completely?
- Are there too many unnecessary graphics or sound files cluttering the screen?
Currency: Is the information on the site outdated?
- When was the site last updated?
- Are the sources cited current or dated?
- Do the links work? Dead links indicate out of date connections or references.
Objectivity: Does this site have a bias? What is the purpose of the site?
- Is the purpose of the site clearly stated? Entertainment? Sales? Education? Persuasion?
- Is affiliation with any organization, political party or special interest group clearly stated?
- Are there ads? Shopping carts? or other attempts to sell something?
- Does the site contain gender, racial, religious or other bias?
- Is the site intended to be ironic, satirical or a spoof?