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Art History

Evaluating Information

One of the biggest problems that individuals have with websites is that they are not sure that the content that they receive is accurate. 

If you are not using one of the "Electronic Databases listed in this guide or via the FAU Libraries Electronic Collection, you need to consider some of the following questions when evaluating information from the Internet:

  1. How accurate is the information? Information created by a .edu, .gov, .mil, or .org site are preferred, and author creditials should be available. Websites ending in .com or .net may or may not be accurate sources of information. 
  2. How authoritative is the source of information? Look for an "about" or "author" of the website to determine who created the website. Check for the author and institution that published the page, Look for information on how to contact the author. Does the entity publishing the web page correspond to URL. Have you heard of this entity before?
  3. How current is the information? When was it produced? When was it last updated? Look for a "last updated" date or year to see if the website is maintained and updated regularly. Also check to see if links on the website are up to date. ?
  4. How reliable or objective is the information? Check to see if the information shows a bias or individual point of view in its presentation or content. What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author? How detailed is the information? What goals/objectives does this website/webpage meet? 
  5. What is the coverage of the web document? What is the website's relevance to your topic? Is the web document all images, all text or a balance of both? Are resources for the information presented on the web document cited properly on the website? Are links that are presented relevant, well-chosen and reliable?

Here are some links to reliable sites that will help you with your evaluation:

Cornell Web Evaluation Website

UC Berkeley Web Evaluation Tips

John Hopkins Evaluating Sources on the Internet

Last updated on Feb 28, 2024 12:39 PM