Evaluating Internet Resources
An Annotated Guide to Selected Resources
There are numerous guides and checklists available on the
subject of evaluating Internet resources. The present
bibliography makes no attempt to be comprehensive, but
rather to describe a number of such guides representing a
variety of approaches, which together provide an overview
of major issues to be considered when evaluating Internet
Sustainable Collections of Free Third-Party Web
Resources June 2001 (Louis A. Pitschmann. Council
for Library and Information Resources.)
Report of a study commissioned by the Digital Library
Federation on the current state of "collection" of free
third party Internet resources by libraries.
Pitschmann, dean of libraries at the University of
Alabama and formerly associate director for collection
development and management at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, focuses not only on issues of
selection and the distinctions between tangible and
online resources, but also on the institutional
implications, including the hidden costs in terms of
time, personnel, and money that are attendant upon
selecting Internet resources for portal pages or for
inclusion in an institutional catalog.
for Evaluating Web Resources (University of
Southern Maine Library)
A short list of questions to ask when evaluating web
resources, grouped under Authority, Scope, Format and
Presentation, and Cost and Accessibility. Also includes
a link to an onlin source for Citing Internet Resource.
Consolidated Listing of Evaluation Criteria and Quality
Indicators 1996-1998. (Project on Evaluation
Procedures for WWW Information Resources. University of
A checklist of 125 indicators of resource quality under
eleven categories: site access and usability, resource
identification and documentation, author
identification, authority of author, information
structure and design, relevance and scope of content,
validity of content, accuracy and balance of content,
navigation within the document, quality of the links,
and aesthetic and affective aspects. Developed as part
of a project undertaken by researchers in the
Department of Instructional Technology at the
University of Georgia (1996-1998), the final report on
the project was presented at the 1998 Annual AECT
convention. [Oliver, K. M. (1998). Evaluation
Procedures for WWW Information Resources: A Final
Project Report. Paper Presented at The Annual
Convention of the Association for Educational
Communications and Technology (AECT), St. Louis, MO.]
and published as Wilkinson, G.L., Bennett, L., &
Oliver, K. (in press). Evaluation Criteria and
Indicators of Quality for Internet Resources."
Educational Technology, March/April, 1997.
Evaluating Internet Resources (Aleteia Greenwood.
Science and Engineering Reference Librarian. University
of British Columbia.)
Developed for use by college students, this clearly
designed page combines a checklist of questions grouped
under six categories (author or source, accuracy,
currency, objectivity, coverage, and purpose) for
ascertaining the suitability of a web site for research
purposes combined with brief explanations of why each
category is important.
Critical Evaluation of Resources on the Internet
(University of Alberta Libraries)
Includes a checklist of evaluation criteria covering
scope and subject matter, authority, currency and
completeness, design, and ease of use, as well as an
annotated list of links to other Internet Evaluation
Sites, including some targeted to elementary and
secondary school educators and students.
Information Found on the Internet (The Sheridan
Libraries of the Johns Hopkins University)
Discussion, with examples, of how criteria used to
evaluate print resources, including authorship,
publisher, point of view, references to other sources,
verifiability, currency can be applied to the
evaluation of Internet resources.
Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to apply and Questions
to ask (Library. University of California,
A checklist of questions to ask when evaluating web
sites accompanied by suggestions for answering those
questions. Includes a section on techniques for
determining the ownership of domain names, and a link
to a glossary of Web and Internet Jargon.
Evaluation of Information Sources. (World Wide Web
Virtual Library, maintained by Alastair Smith)
An extensive bibliography of online resources relating
to the evaluation of Internet resources. Includes
commentaries, general selection criteria, as well as
criteria developed for specific projects.
Should We Look at Internet Information? (Hope
Tillman, Director of Libraries, Babson College.)
Originally written for a 1995 presentation,and revised
several times since then, this paper addresses the
relevancy of criteria for other formats for information
on the net, generic evaluation criteria, current
evaluation tools on the net, the author's personal
indicators of "quality," and suggestions for Internet
information providers or publishers.
- The Internet: Window to the World or Hall of Mirrors?
Information Quality in the Networked Environment (Jack Solok)
Originally published as part of the Internic's End
User's Corner, now made available by the Internet Scout
Project, this article is an early, succinct guide to
analyzing networked information that remains valid
today, covering content, access.
A succinct statement of the criteria used for selecting
resources included in the Librarian's Index to the
Internet. Among the criteria listed are scope and
audience, content, availability, credibility,
authorship, working external links, legality,
authoritativeness, "shelf life," design and function.
Specific questions under each criteria help guide
selectors in evaluating a specific a site.
"The Six Quests for the Electronic Grail: Current
Approaches to Information Quality in WWW Resources." In
Review Informatique et Statistique dans les Sciences
humaines (RISSH)", 1996. No. 1-4. Centre Informatique
de Philosophie et Lettres, Universite de Liege, Belgium,
pp.45-71. Also available online.
Although written in 1996, much of this analysis of the
problems of information integrity on the Web --
including unattributed, undated resources; lack of
standardization in presentation, circularity of links,
and explosive growth -- still rings true. Ciolek
focuses on six main approaches to overcoming the Web's
shortcomings: programming, procedural, structural;
bibliographical; evaluative; and organizational.
the Surf: Criteria for Evaluating Internet Information
Resources. (Alastair G. Smith), The
Public-Access Computer Systems Review 8, no. 3 (1997).
An early proposed set of criteria, or toolbox, for
evaluating Internet information sources, based on a
survey of print and online resources. While a number of
the sites mentioned in the article no longer exist, the
general conclusions continue to be applicable.
- Technomonitor: What is Credible Information? by
Donald T. Hawkins. In ONLINE Magazine, September 1999.
Noting the differences in the publishing paradigm for
scholarly resources in print versus that for
information appearing on the Internet, Hawkins reports
on a study he made of criteria cited by 14 web authors.
Criteria are grouped in one of three categories: those
mentioned by 10 or more authors; those mentioned by 5
or 6 authors; those mentioned by 2 or 3 authors, and
finally those mentioned by only a single author. Also
includes a bibliography of print and online resources
on the topic. Online version archived by the Internet Archive. Links are not maintained and may no longer be active.
Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information
Quality on the Web, by Jan Alexander and Marsha Ann
Tate. Mahwah, N.J. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999. 156
pages.( LC Call Number: TK5105.888 .A376 1999 Overflow.)
Ar archived copy of an earlier version of their checklists for evaluating
advocacy, business/marketing, news, informational, and
personal web pages is available from the Internet Archive. Links are not maintained and may no longer be active.