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Evaluate Online Resources

When looking for resources online, make sure you evaluate their accuracy and credibility by getting a second opinion!  This means, verify the information by looking up the claims in scholarly, peer-reviewed articles found in subject databases.

Watch the tutorial: Evaluating Online Resources

 

CRAPP Test for Evaluating Websites

 

Critical Elements for Website Evaluation

1. Evaluate information on the web by asking yourself the following questions:

  • what is this site's PURPOSE?
  • to make money?
  • to entertain?
  • to provide information?

2. Check the URL to see the domain name extension.

URL’s are often a good indication of the origin of the page. The domain name is found after “http://” and “www.”  These are some common domain name extensions:

  • .info (commercial)
  • .gov (US government)
  • .org (any organization )
  • .net (network)
  • .edu (educational)
  • % (can mean it is a personal website)
  • .com
  • .biz
  • .name
  • .pro

3. The AUTHOR of the page can be an indicator for the quality of the information.

Knowing who wrote the page is important because it tells you about the quality of the information you will find.  As you look at the page, ask the following questions:

  • What is the person’s or association’s authority to post on this subject?
  • Is there a contact address or number (are they willing to answer questions, take feedback)?
  • If the author is a person, can you find a little bit about their background on the website or elsewhere?

4.  WHEN was the site created? is there a date given on the website?

The last time it was updated can be an indicator of how relevant the information is.  No dates or an old date could indicate that the site is abandoned and the information is stale.  Ask the following questions:

  • Is the sites "created xxxx" date current?
  • When was the site LAST UPDATED?

 

Recommended Websites

Learn how to evaluate online resources here