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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
Research Guide: Source Evaluation
As the ease of placing information on the internet grows it becomes important for researchers to have resource evaluation skills. These skills allow one to determine if resources are reputable and reliable. There are five key areas to resource evaluation and they are presented below with questions to consider when evaluating resources.
Keys to Evaluating Web Resources:
If the resource lists the author and institution that published the page and provides a way of contacting him/her, and . . .
If the resource lists the author credentials and its domain is preferred (.edu, .gov, .org, or .net), and . . .
If the resource provides accurate information with limited advertising and it is objective in presenting the information, and . . .
If the resource is current and updated regularly (as stated on the page) and the links (if any) are also up-to-date, and . . .
If you can view the information properly - not limited to fees, browser technology, or software requirement, then . . .
Who is the author/source?
What are the author's reputation and qualifications in the subject covered?
Is the information on the site accurate?
Does the site contain original information?
Is the information presented in an objective, balanced manner?
Are there political, ideological or other biases?
Is there a reputable organization or expert behind it?
How does the site compare with other sites on the same subject?
Is the material on the site covered adequately?
How current is the information?
Is the information well-written?
How well is the site maintained?
Does the site tell you when it was last updated?
If there are links to other sites, do they work?
Are there advertisements in the source?