Evaluating Web Sites

Ask yourself the following questions before using information from any Web site. 

1. Who produces this site?

  • Is the site produced by a reputable college, university, or other information-providing institution?  The URLs for these types of institutions include the following "domain" codes: 
    • ac (British academic institution) 
    • edu (US educational institution) 
    • gov (governmental body) 
    • org (non-profit organization) 
  • Is the site produced by an individual?  These sites require special scrutiny.  Look for answers to the following questions before using information from these sources. 
    • Are you familiar with the author as a recognized authority in the subject area of the information contained on the page? 
    • If not, does the site contain biographical information and/or credentials about the individual? 
    • Do those credentials tie the individual to reputable institutions? 
  • Sometimes it is difficult to discern who produces a site because the site is several levels into a larger site.  In these situations, try the following: 
    • Locate a "Home" link that will lead you to the main page. 
    • Truncate the URL back to each single forward slash.  For example, http://www.ecu.edu/lib/music.cfm would be truncated to http://www.ecu.edu/lib to see that the Music Library site is part of the Joyner Library site. 

2. How current is the information contained on this site?

  • Determine the last date on which the site was updated. 
  • Check the bottom of the opening page of the site for an indication of when the site was last updated. 
  • If the site has not been updated within the last six months, be cautious about using information contained on the site.

created by David Hursh, 08-23-99, rev. NN 6-25-07, 5-9-12

Music Library Evaluating Web Sites - ECU

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