by Hope Kelly
Last Updated Oct 3, 2023
1613 views this year
Critically Evaluating Websites
When doing academic research, it's important to evaluate ALL information carefully and critically. Whether it's an article, book, website or a multimedia piece, use the criteria below to help evaluate any resource you're considering.
When was the information published or last updated?
Does publication date matter for your topic? (historical topics vs. rapidly changing fields)
Are links and references up to date?
Have newer articles been published on your topic?
Is the information relevant to your topic?
Is the information too techincal or too simplified for you to use?
How in depth is the material? Does it add something new to your understanding?
Would this source be a suitable addition to an academic research paper?
Is the author formally educated in the subject area? Do they have a history of research/writings in the subject area?
Is the author affiliated with a university, research center or other respected institution?
Can you find information about the author? Do other authors cite the author?
Are there statements you know to be false? Are there errors in spelling, punctuation or grammer?
Was the information reviewed by editors or subject experts?
Are claims, viewpoints, arguments and conclusions reasonable?
Is the content supported by authoritave sources? Are the sources cited?
Is the publisher a trustworthy organization, like a university press, scholarly society or government organization?
To what extent are advertisements used in the publication?
What is the mission or goal of the publisher? Can you find it?
Is the author's purpose to shock, sell, persuade, entertain, or inform?
Is there an obvious bias or prejudice? Are alternative points of view presented?
Does the author omit facts or data that might disprove their claim?