Anyone can publish a webpage without it being evaluated for accuracy or quality of information. Reviews by peers, scholars, editors, and publishers are not often applied to websites. The following evaluation criteria should be applied when viewing a website:
Authorship. Is the author identified? What are the author's credentials? For example, does the site include the author's position and institutional or organizational affiliation? Is the URL for an educational institution (.edu) or government agency (.gov)?
Accuracy. Can the data be verified from other sources? Does the author have an obvious bias? Check the facts.
Audience. Is the site intended for scholars, professionals, or students?
Currency. Does the website include the date it was created and/or updated? Are the links current?
Coverage. Does the site state its intended scope? Is it designed to cover an entire subject, or to give detailed information on one aspect?
Relative Value. How does it compare to other sources of similar information? Are there other more accurate or complete sources - possibly in print format or a library database? Even with all of the useful information online, sometimes the most reliable resources are print books on the shelf at the library.
For additional information, check out the links below. These resources offer methods and detailed criteria that can be applied when conducting research on the internet.
"The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public. Our mission is to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge."