The criteria below will assist you in evaluating web pages for use as academic sources. Be sure and look at the criteria in multiple categories prior to making a decision regarding the academic quality of a source.
How Did you Find the Website?
How you located the site can give you a start on your evaluation of the site's validity as an academic resource.
Identify the Website's Domain
Think of this as "decoding" the URL, or Internet address. The origination of the site can provide indications of the site's mission or purpose. The most common domains are:
Look for information on the author of the site. On the Internet anyone can pose as an authority.
Accuracy and Objectivity
There are no standards or controls on the accuracy of information available via the Internet. The Internet can be used by anyone as a sounding board for their thoughts and opinions.
This is both an indicator of the timeliness of the information and whether or not the page is currently maintained.
The ease of use of a site and its ability to help you locate information you are looking for are examples of the site's functionality.