Section 6 Evaluation Criteria > Specialized Directories > Organization searching > Review >


To establish the authority of a site, ask the following questions:

Is the individual or organization responsible for the site identified? Copyright might indicate who claims responsibility.

What are the author's credentials? These might include education, professional status, work experience, publications, etc. and should be spelled out. In the case of an organization, look for the organization's mission or purpose, history, membership, activities, accomplishments, etc.

What is the site's URL? This, especially the domain, can provide important clues as to the nature and quality of the site. Click here to review the most common domains.

Do this: If there is little or no information about the author of a site, try these two strategies. Truncate back the URL by deleting the characters at the end until you reach a slash. Then press enter to see if there is any information about the author. If not, continue drilling down stopping at each slash before pressing enter until you reach the first single slash. This is the page's server, the entity that has published the page, and it might provide useful information.
Another strategy is to check a biographical reference source or use a search engine to locate information about the individual or organization responsible for the site.

Warning: Do not confuse the author of a site with the Webmaster who is responsible for the technical aspects of the site. Neither should you confuse a self-proclaimed expert or enthusiast with someone who has solid credentials.

Try This

Applying the criteria above, determine whether or not the sites below are suitable as sources for an academic paper. -- No title -- Johns Hopkins AIDS Service

After you have formulated your response, click on next below to check the tutorial response.


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