Who are the authors of
Anonymous pages or pages
created by people with no real credentials (such as high school
students) are not suitable for college-level research.
What is the source of the
information? Examine the URL
(address) for further clues.
What type of
does it come from (educational, non-profit, commercial, etc.)?
Who "published" the
Is it somebody's
Is the server a commercial
or other provider of web page hosting (like aol.com,
geocities.com, or earthlink.net)?
Look for a personal name (e.g., jbarker
or barker) following a tilde (
) or or the word "users" or "people."
Are there sponsors,
affiliations that could represent potential conflicts of interest?
Look for advertising or sponsorship statements that could reflect biased
information. Check to see if different viewpoints are presented.
Think about the point of view of the "publisher," identified above.
You could expect opposing viewpoints on drilling for oil on federal
lands from greenpeace.org and exxon.com.
Support for smokers' rights might be expressed on rjrt.com (RJ Reynolds
Tobacco), while cancer.org (American Cancer Society) will be against
How accurate does the
information seem to be? Look for
typos, spelling and grammatical errors. Verify the information using
reputable sources such as journals, books, and other experts in the
field for comparisons. Check bibliographic references for confirmation
Is the information
current? Look for dates that
indicate the timeliness of the information, when it was posted on the
web and how frequently it is updated.