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Research Online: A Practical Guide 
Choose a Section:
Intro | Web Basics | Searching | Links | Citing Sources | Conclusion

Evaluating and Citing Electronic Sources
Citing Electronic Sources: Why?
Citing Electronic Sources: How?

Evaluating Information on the Web

The very reason why the Web is the ultimate democratic medium-every voice can be heard unfiltered and uncensored-is why it also can be so unreliable. Unlike a news source or a scholarly journal, there is often no required editorial review, no fact-checking, no one verifying the accuracy of the resources on the Web. For this reason it is vital that you, the student, understand how to critically evaluate the reliability, value, and credibility of that information.

The links below offer comprehensive coverage for evaluating Web sites.

Evaluating Internet Research Sources
by Robert Harris, Southern California College
A comprehensive treatment that presents the CARS Checklist for Research Source Evaluation (Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness, Support).

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources
by Susan E. Beck, Instruction Coordinator, New Mexico State University Library
A well-organized site that offers a checklist of evaluation criteria and clear examples of both "good" and "bad" sites.

The following pages from Craig Branham's A Student's Guide to Research with the WWW explore criteria for evaluating Web sites and explain which types of sites are most and least reliable.

Evaluating Web Pages for Relevance

The Authority of a Web Site

Evaluating Web Sites for Accuracy

Web Page Types

Try it Out

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