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Guide Tutorial for CMP101: Websites

Tutorial on this guide - Website Evaluation

Evaluating a Website

Website Evaluation (C.R.A.A.P test)  

 

 

C - Currency 
Is the page or website being updated and maintained?
When was the page written? Last updated or revised?
How current is the information? 
Are the links working appropriately? 
 
 
 
R - Reliable sources 
Does the information fit your needs?
Who is the intended audience?
Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. college level, highschool, elementary)?
Have you consulted other sources before using this one? 
 
 
A - Authority - Who is the author of the website?
What are the author's credentials? 
Is the author an authority on the subject? Remember anybody from anywhere can publish on a website.  
Is the author an organization? 
What do you know (or what can you find out) about this organization?
Is there any contact information?  
 
 
A - Accuracy - 
Is the site edited well? 
Are there spelling or grammatical errors?
Is it written in a style that you would expect for the topic and audience?
Did you  consult other sources (including non-web sources) to verify the facts?  
Does the information on the site "fit" with other information that you have on the topic?
Does the author provide a way to verify information on this site? Are footnotes, citations, or sources provided?
 
 
P - Purpose
What is the purpose of the site? To inform? To sell? To persuade?
Is the site objective, showing multiple sides of an issue? Bias is not necessarily reason to reject a source - but be sure that you can identify it.
Who is the intended audience? Advanced researchers in a field? Elementary school students? Members of a particular organization or viewpoint?
If there is advertising on the page, does this affect the content?
 

 

Website Addresses

Knowing more about domain name extensions or URL extensions can be a helpful tool when you are evaluating the authority or usefulness of websites. 

.com -- This means the site is owned by a commercial, or for-profit, company or organization. This is not always a bad thing. Websites for newspapers and magazines usually end with .com, for example. On the other hand, many .com sites are designed to sell a product or service rather than provide information.

.org -- This means the site is owned by a non-profit organization. Their purpose might be to provide information, raise money, or solicit volunteers.

.edu -- This is the address designation used by educational institutions, whether they are colleges and universities, high schools, or elementary schools. Make sure you understand who the target audience is for these websites.

.net -- This is a "bucket" designation that often means the site is created by one person or organization but is stored on rented server space by an outside provider. .net is often used for sites or blogs created by an individual. You may need to look carefully at the credentials of the author of a .net site. Also, be careful not to confuse the server provider with the actual author of the information.