Answered By: Debra Flewelling
Last Updated: Aug 29, 2014     Views: 14

You can't believe everything you read, see or hear! Use this checklist to select the best.

Currency

Is the publication date noted?
Has the information been recently updated?
Are links from a web page still active and useful?
How old is the information contained compared to the publication date of the source?

Accuracy

Is the author/creator clearly identified? is she/he an authority in their field?
Is there any way to verify the author/creator's credentials?
Who is ultimately responsible for the content?
If you trace back the URL to view a page higher in the directory, is the sponsor or location of the site appropriate for the material contained?
Do you know who owns the domain name? 
Has the source been rated/reviewed by experts in the field?
Can you tell where the information came from? Are sources cited?
Can you contact the creator by email if you have a concern?

Purpose

Is the information provided as a public service, to tell something, to educate, to convince you or for some other purpose?
Are ads present? If so, are they clearly separated from the information content?
Are opinions identified as such? Does the creator's affiliation or employment have any impact on his/her point of view?
Does the source provide a comprehensive/broad overview of a subject, or is it limited to a specific time period or narrower aspect?
Are several points of view included or is there evidence of bias and one-sidedness?

Suitability

Who is the intended audience, based on the source's content, tone and style?
Does this tone, level and content meet your needs?
Are the graphics helpful and easy to interpret?
Are there navigation aids to help you use the resource and locate specific information?
Does the site download quickly and the special effects useful?

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