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Evaluating Web Sites Criteria for Evaluating Web Sites

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5. Why should I use this site?

Evaluating the credibility, thoroughness, accuracy, currency, and presentation of a Web site will help you determine whether to use that site for your research. Ask yourself:

  • Do the resources on this site meet all my needs? Is the information verifiable, in-depth, and up to date?

  • Why is this Web site a better research source than some of the other sites I've already visited?

Use this printable evaluation guide (in PDF format) to evaluate any Web site.

To view a PDF file, you must have the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer. You may download the Reader for free if you do not already have it installed.

The Why Files™ below is an example of a quality Web site. How can you tell? By looking at the home page and reading the site's About Us and The Why Files in Education sections, you can find out that the site:

  • has a 2002 copyright and stories that focus on the science behind current headlines.

  • is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • was founded as a project of the National Institute of Science Education (NISE) with funding from the National Science Foundation, a federal agency.

  • provides a bibliography for every article, and ensures that all articles are fact-checked by experts.

  • has a clear layout and visuals that support the information on the site.

The Why Files screenshot

Next: Activity—Evaluate the Content of a Web Site