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Stony Brook University

Literature Reviews

ABC's of Evaluating Websites

Audience

To whom is the site directed – children, adults, students; a certain ethnicity, gender or political affiliation?

Is it understandable by the layman, or is it highly technical requiring specialized knowledge?

Authority

Is the author of the site listed?

Can you determine his/her expertise?

Is contact information given – phone number, address, e-mail?

With what organization is he/she associated?

Bias

Does the language, tone, or treatment of its subject give the site a particular slant or bias?

Is the site objective?

Is it designed to sway opinion? Organizational affiliation can often indicate bias.

Currency

Is the site up-to-date with working links?

Are dates given for when it was created and last updated

Is the topic current?

Scope

Is the site an in-depth study of the topic going several pages deep, or is it a superficial, single-page look at the subject?

Are statistics and sources referenced properly cited?

Does the site offer unique information not found anywhere else, e.g., print sources?