Researching a Topic on the World Wide Web
Benefits of using the Internet for Research

Evaluating the Quality of Web Page Information

Because anybody can create a website on the World Wide Web, you can’t always trust the information on them – they could contain lots of mistakes or be biased towards a particular viewpoint, for example.

Here are some questions you could ask yourself to check how reliable and helpful the information on a web page is:

Who is the author? You can usually trust school and government websites.
What date was it put online? More recent web pages are likely to be more accurate. (Be aware of those made on April 1st as they could contain April Fools Day jokes!)
Who is the intended audience? Websites for children usually look colourful and have easy-to-read text in a big font size. Some ISPs filter or block access to unsuitable sites.
Is the content relevant? Look at the sub-headings and at any images to see what topic they are about.
Is the information biased? Biased information describes only one opinion about something. Examples are companies pretending their products are better than their rivals and people describing what they personally think about something (e.g. a film review).

It is usually best to compare different websites to help check the reliability of their information – lots of sites containing similar information is more likely to be accurate than lots of sites containing contrasting information.

© Copyright S Haughton