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Evaluating Web Sites

Web Sites Myths
Library Materials
Checklist to Evaluate Web Sites
Practice Exercise
 
 
 
 

Complete Practice Exercise

MYTH:
Computers don’t make mistakes; therefore everything that appears on the screen is true.

FACT:
INFORMATION THAT IS ON A COMPUTER IS ONLY AS TRUTHFUL AS THE PEOPLE WHO SUPPLY THE COMPUTER WITH THE INFORMATION.


Type

Examine the content and identify the orientation (type) of Web site:

• Entertainment
• Business/Marketing/Sales
• Reference/Informational
• News
• Advocacy
• Personal Page

Goals
Are the goals of the Web site (author) clearly stated?

Objective
Is the Web site biased or objective?

Coverage
Is the topic covered in depth or briefly? Are quality links to other useful sites included?

Author
Is the author’s name or the organization’s name listed? If an author is listed, does the author list his/her professional affiliation, credentials, or degrees? If an organization is listed is it well-known and reputable.

Sources
Does the Web site cite (list) where the information was obtained?

Accuracy
Is the information correct, or is the information verified by an editor(s) or a fact checker (most Web sites are not)? Therefore you should verify the facts with other sources such as authoritative books, periodicals or with an instructor or librarian.

Currency
Are the creation date and revision dates listed?


Web Site Evaluation Hands-On Exercise

Choose number 1, 2, or 3 to compare and evaluate. Use the checklist from UC Berkeley:
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/EvalForm_General_Barker.pdf
and document your findings.

1. News
www.newnation.org and www.washingtonpost.com

2. Martin Luther King Jr.
www.thekingcenter.org and www.martinlutherking.org

3. Cloning
www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/cloning.shtml and
www.humancloning.org

4. Driver License Information
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/

5. Hummer SUV
http://www.hummer.com/ and http://www.edmunds.com/new/research/hummer/h3.html


Turn in your checklist at the end of class.