WHO created the page? Can you find and verify the author's qualifications, whether an individual or an organization?
- Look for "About the author/About us" links for the author's name and contact info.
- Verify credentials in another source, e.g. journal, encyclopedia, directory, or try Googling the author's or organization's name.
- Look for a link to the home page of the Web site where the document lives.
- Look at the parts of the URL/address to find organizational affiliation.
WHAT is the page/site about? Does it have the kind of information you need?
- Look at the browser title bar, document title, content & links.
- Are there lots of advertisements trying to sell you something?
WHERE is the information coming from?
- Look at the address or URL
- .edu=educational, .com=commercial, .org=organization, .gov=government, two-letter country codes (.jp, .ca, .uk)
WHY is this site on the Web and how does it affect the information?
- Look at "About us/Mission/Purpose", links, content, and advertising.
- Determine the purpose of the site
- Advocacy or "soapbox" (tries to persuade)
- Informational (often has multiple viewpoints or references)
- Business or marketing (tries to sell)
- Choose sites whose purposes are compatible with your information needs.
WHEN was the page or information created? Is the date important for the timeliness of the content?
- Look for dates. (Publication or copy-right date); Last modified or updated; Date statistics gathered or published?
HOW accurate or credible is the page?
- Examine references and bibliographies.
- Verify information in another reputable source (e.g. encyclopedia, journal, book, other Web site).
- If you notice many errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc., question the accuracy of other information.