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Evaluating Web Content

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Web Sites

Web sites are a unified collection of pages that run the gamut from educating to informing to selling to persuading, and may combine purposes. The content generally originates from the Web site owner, be it an individual, organization, company, or government entity; however, RSS feeds may introduce imported content.

Examples: American Memory, ASPCA, Historical Novel Society

To evaluate the content on a Web site, look for these clues:

  • The author/producer is identifiable.

  • The author/producer has expertise on the subject. Look for an “About” or similar page.

  • The domain (.edu, .org, .gov, etc.) may provide some clues about the focus of the material. Be aware that.org can indicate either for profit or non-profit organizations. Scholars and other content providers may choose to maintain their materials on other domains, for example .com.

  • The material is up to date, and the site appears to be maintained. Check for update dates on the site.

  • For informational or educational sites, sources are given for the information, or links are provided to related sources of information. You may need to verify the information through other sources.

 

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