Would Peruna Approve?
Some things to consider when evaluating web sites found using a search engine:
- Why was this site published?
- What purpose does it serve?
- Who is the intended audience?
- Is it intended to simply share ideas or persuade you to a particular point of view?
- Is it fact or opinion?
- Are the publisher or page advertisers trying to sell you something?
- Is it well written?
- Are there too many grammatical errors?
- Has it been updated regularly?
- Are there a lot of broken links?
- Is this the best, most relevant information on this topic?
- Does it contribute significantly to research in this field?
- Is the content appropriate?
- Is there better work on this topic?
- What is the domain for the site (.com, .edu, .gov, .org, etc.)?
- What does the URL tell you about the information contained within it?
- Is it a personal page (.edu\~smithers), corporate boilerplate, or something else?
- How easy is it to find your way around the site?
- Is there a table of contents, site map, or a "breadcrumb trail"?
- Is it designed so that the information can be accessed in a reasonable amount of time or does it take too long to download?
- Who wrote it?
- What are their credentials?
- Does the author have a bias that needs to be acknowledged?
- Does the author include citations, so you know who else has been consulted as part of any investigating?
- Are the ideas supported by accurate, unbiased evidence?
None of these criteria is inherently good or bad. You should use them to think about the information and determine if it is appropriate for your research.
For example, If you were studying Coke's publicity, you would definitely need to review coke.com. If you were researching critiques of corporate branding strategies on college campuses, then it would not necessarily be appropriate to peruse Coke's website.
To find more scholarly works, please use library databases, such as those suggested on subject research guides, and Ask Us for assistance.