The easiest way of evaluating the information you find on websites is to ask yourself the following five questions:
- Who is the author? (does it say?)
- Are they qualified?
- Who is the sponsor? (i.e. who is paying for the site)
- Are they reputable / trustworthy?
- What topics are covered? (what is not covered?)
- How in-depth is the information?
- How accurate is the information? (not everything on the page will be new to you, does what you are reading tally with what you have read elsewhere?)
- Where is the page from?
- Is there regional bias? (e.g. a page from Britain or America might not be consistent with Australian experiences).
- Is the page dated? If so, when was the last update?
- How current are the links? (“dead” links can indicate poor or slow updating)
- What is the purpose of the website?
- Is it trying to: Sell me something? Persuade me of something? Entertain me? Inform me? Educate me?
- Is it factual? Or opinion?
- How might the purpose change the information, how the information is presented, or make it biased?