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Evaluating Websites: What is the purpose of the site?

How do you evaluate the credibility of a website? This guide will give you several questions to ask about any website you are considering using in your research.

What is the purpose of the website and is it clearly stated?

Breadth:

  • Are all aspects of the subject covered?
  • Does the site present an historical or contextual framework for the topic?

Depth:

  • How detailed is the information?
  • Are the sources of the information identified?  Could you access the sources they used?

Timely:

  • How frequently is the site updated?
  • When was the last update?
  • Who is responsible for updating the website?  Do you have an email link to report errors or problems?

Audience:

  • Who are the intended users?
  • Does the content meet the audience's informational needs?