Information Update - Spring 1997
Evaluating Web Sites
- Content. How up-to-date is the information? Does the owner of the Web site provide revisions and are these noted? Does the site cover what it claims? This varies by the purpose of the site, whether it is to inform (education or government), advocate (organization or personal), or advertise (commercial), Jan Alexander and Marsha Tate's "Evaluation of Web Resources" elaborates on the different types of Web sites and provides criteria to assess each (http://www.widener.edu~withers/webeval.html).
- Authority. Is the authority of the site's sponsor identifiable? If it. is an individual. does the person list his or her occupation, experience or education? Is it sponsored by a university, company or government? Does this affect the information presented?
- Organization. How is the information presented? Is it easy to find what you are looking (-or? Are appropriate links to other resources provided?
- Searchability. Does the site allow you to conduct a search within the site? If not, is the organization and location of its contents well documented?
- Graphic Design. Do the graphics enhance or distract from the purpose of the site?
- Innovative Use of the Medium. Does it take advantage of the interactive nature of the Web? If there is a print equivalent, how does the web site enhance it?
Search engines (Excite, Alta Vista, Lycos) and publications (Net Magazine) also provide evaluations, although they sometimes fail to identify the criteria used.