Winchester Community High School
Winchester, Indiana
 765-584-8201 x1500 / 800-215-8201

Evaluating Websites

Evaluating Websites Tips

What can the URL (Uniform Resource Locator/website address) tell you about the information on this webpage?

Is this a personal page? This is indicated by a personal name preceded by a tilde ~ appearing anywhere in the URL  such as ‘~jsmith’, a % sign, or words such as ‘users’ and ‘groups’ in the address.  *Any one of these indicators of a personal page does not necessarily mean it is bad information, but be aware that this is someone’s personal page which requires you to determine that person’s motivation and credentials(authority).

Ex. – http://www.who.org/hunger/~cbaird

Who is the author or publisher of this webpage?

 

 

 

 

 

Is the publisher a corporate author such as WHO (World Health Organization), CIA, KidsHealth (Kid’s Health sponsored by the Nemours Foundation), or CDC (Center for Disease Control).

Know the difference between an author and a webmaster.  Is the author qualified to write about this subject?  If a person is the author, googling that person may give some incite into their qualification.  Typing into Google info:URL will also give information about a website.

Search the edges of a webpage for information such as ‘About’, ‘Mission’, ‘Biography’, and/or ‘Philosophy’.  Look for contact information including address, phone, and email address.

 

It may be necessary to truncate the URL to determine the true author/originator of a webpage.  Remove the end of a URL back to the first / mark keeping the / mark.  Keep doing this process until you can determine who the author or sponsor is.

For ex. - http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/ animals /mammals/bengal-tiger//bengal-tiger/

From what kind of domain does this webpage originate?

Common domains include:

.edu  education                             .gov  government

.com  commercial                          .net  network

.org  non-profit organization      .mil  military

Keep in mind that commercial sites are usually trying to sell something and non-profit organizations have their own bias and agenda for publishing pages.  Determine what the purpose or obvious bias of this webpage might be.  Why was it produced?  Not all nonprofit or commercial sites are bad information, but again we must look at them closely.

Is the information objective?

Again determine who is responsible for the webpage.  Why did they write this page?  Who was their intended audience?  Is there a bias presented here?  Performing a link command to determine what group(s) or people or sites link to this page often enlightens us about the original webpage.

For ex. – Go to www.altavista.com and type in

link:url and leave no space before or after the colon.  A list of websites that link to that URL will appear.  Often this list can tell some definitive things about the original website.

Is the information current?

When was the page produced and when was it last updated?  Check hyperlinks to determine if they are up-to-date as well.  Are there dead links on the page?  Is the currency of the information important?  Current information about global warming may be more important than up to the minute information on the civil war.

Is this quality information?

Is the webpage easy to view and not filled with distracting gimmicks?  Are there spelling errors?  Are there obvious errors in information?  Is there a balance of text and graphics?  Do the links on the page lead to other reputable websites or are links merely internal to the website?  Can this information be verified by looking at other reputable websites?  Is this the best information you can find on the subject?

What’s In a URL

Websites to Evaluation:

Bias

http://pubweb.northwestern.edu/~abutz/di/intro.html

 

http://lsb.scu.edu/~mkevane/womten.htm  
For Teachers' Meeting
All About Explorers  http://www.allaboutexplorers.com/  

Martin Luther King Jr.  www.martinlutherking.org
Schrockguide  http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/index.html

Butz    http://www.ibiblio.org/team/history/controversy/abutz/

21st Century Information Fluency  http://21cif.com/tools/




 

All About Explorers  http://www.allaboutexplorers.com/  

RYT Hospital Dwayne Medical Center  http://www.rythospital.com/2008/     

Facts About Dihydrogen Monoxide  http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html

The Truth About Women and AIDS  http://147.129.226.1/library/research/AIDSFACTS.htm  

California’s Velcro Crop Under Challenge  http://home.inreach.com/kumbach/velcro.html

Dog Island Free Forever

http://www.thedogisland.com/index.html

Animals Used for Entertainment  http://www.peta.org/issues/Animals-In-Entertainment/default.aspx

The Truth About Women and AIDS  http://147.129.226.1/library/research/AIDSFACTS.htm  

 

Authorship

Martin Luther King Jr.  www.martinlutherking.org

 

Schrockguide  http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/index.html

Form
http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/evalhigh.html

Tall-Tale Tax Checks  http://factcheck.org/2010/10/tall-tax-tales/
Flying Penguins  http://www.youtube.com/watch?y=nrxmpihCjqw

For Teachers' Meeting
All About Explorers 
http://www.allaboutexplorers.com/  

Martin Luther King Jr.  www.martinlutherking.org
Schrockguide  http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/index.html

Butz Address (URL) as it originally appeared:    http://pubweb.northwestern.edu/~abutz/di/into.html
Butz   
http://www.ibiblio.org/team/history/controversy/abutz/  page as is now
21st Century Information Fluency  http://21cif.com/tools/