When considering using an external website (not an SC4 database article or e-book) as a source for an assignment or for research, be sure to evaluate that site with a critical eye.
Important aspects of the web page include:
Author: Who is responsible for the information found on this website? The author of the page could be an individual or group of individuals, an organization, a branch of government, or a private company. Is this author credible?
Bias / Intent: What is the author’s intent? Why did they publish this page? Is it to share information or is it to sell a product or service? Is the information objective, or is there a slant to their point of view?
Currency: How recently was this webpage updated? Use your best judgment and consider how current you need the information to be for your research topic. Is the homepage of the website updated regularly? Or does the page appear abandoned?
Substance: Read through the content on the web page and determine how much useful information is found on the page. Is the information original to the author, or is it a repost from another source? (If this is the case, try to find the original source of information). Is the information well written and does it make sense grammatically?
Links: Are there external links on the webpage, and if so, where do they lead you? If the links are broken, or lead you to suspicious sites, odds are this webpage is not a reliable one. Links (both internal and external) should be helpful and provide additional information.