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Criteria for Evaluating Sources

Authority

  • Is the author/organization responsible for the content reputable?

  • Is the author/organization qualified in the subject matter being discussed (do they have a degree in the content area of the material)?

Accuracy & Point of View

  • Are facts rather than opinion presented?

  • Are there any biases present?

  • Is the author's point of view clear and supported by facts that can be verified by other sources?

  • Is the purpose of the material to persuade, explain, or inform?

Currency

  • Is the information current? (Especially important when looking at medical or technology related topics and other fields that experience dramatic change in a short time frame.)

  • Is there a copyright date?

Audience

  • Is the audience identified immediately?

  • Is the purpose made clear immediately?

  • Is the content appropriate for the audience (not to technical or to informal)?

  • Is the reading level appropriate for the audience?

  • Are the graphics, and organization of the work appropriate for the audience?

Format/Appearance

  • Is the material designed well?

  • Is the material well organized (contain table of contents, indexed, flow in a logical manner)?

  • Are the graphics, tables, timelines, maps appropriate?

  • Is the text well written?

  • Is the information where you would expect to find it?

Examples of Evaluation Forms for Internet Sites

  • Website Evaluation Criteria Form (Tulsa City-County Library 1998)

  • Web Page Evaluation Form (East Central 1999)

  • Web Page Evaluation Form (American Library Association 1998)

  • Elementary Web Page Evaluation Form (Kathy Schrock's 1996) PDF version

  • Middle School Web Page Evaluation Form (Kathy Schrock's 1996) PDF version

  • Secondary Web Page Evaluation Form (Kath Schrock's 1996) PDF version

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