Website evaluation

Assessing the accuracy

  • Reliability: Is the author’s affiliation a known, respectable institution?
  • References: Do facts and statistics receive appropriate references to their source?
  • Is a reference list included?
  • Is the information provided correct and free of errors?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical mistakes?
  • Are the facts comparable to those you have encountered on other websites on the same subject?
  • Are the web links on the site quality sources?

Assessing the authority

  • Who is the author of the site?
  • What is their affiliation (connection with an institution)?
  • What are their expertise and experience?
  • What are their credentials?
  • Is there contact information for the author/organization?
  • What does the domain indicate about the source?
Domain Source
ca  Canadian-based website
gov American government
edu American educational institution or affiliate
Organizations or special interest groups, usually non-profit




Companies and other 

Assessing the objectivity

  • What bias (explicit or implied) does the page contain?
  • Are there any opinions stated or implied?
  • Is information presented objectively?
  • What is the intent of the advertisement; does advertising conflict with the content?
  • Who is the intended audience?

Assessing the purpose

  • Is the purpose of the site clear?
  • Is the purpose teaching, informing, persuading or entertaining?
  • Does the site content support its purpose?
  • Who is the audience?
  • Does the site evaluate outside links it provides?

Assessing the currency

  • Is the information current and regularly updated?
  • When was the page first created?
  • When was the information last revised?
  • Are links up-to-date and working?

Assessing the coverage & relevance

  • Does the site contain comprehensive or selective information?
  • How in-depth is the coverage?
  • Is the information useful and related to your topic?
  • Does the information answer your question(s)?
  • Do the links connect to outside sites?
  • Compare the usefulness of the site’s information to other sites on similar topics.