Bachelor of Engineering (first year): Websites

Library resources for students studying first year engineering

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Evaluating websites

Information from web sites can be very easy to find. Due to the nature of the web, it is very important to evaluate anything that you find before including it in an assignment, essay or technical report. Anyone can author or publish material on a web site. No quality control process is required. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't use information from web sites just that you need to apply an evaluation criteria to understand 

Authority Accuracy Currency
Is it advertising material?
Who authored the content?
What is their expertise?
What type of site is it?
What was is the intended audience?
Is it verifiable information?
Where was it published?
Is the material presented as fact or opinion?
Are any claims made, supported by evidence?
Are any affiliations of the author made clear? 
Are facts and figures presented referenced?
Would you be able to locate any sources used?
When was it written or published?
How often has it been updated?
When was it last updated?


How to evaluate websites: website homepage mock-up [interactive]

In the space below is a mock webpage that has been created to illustrate what to look out for when evaluating sources of information found on the internet. The Evaluating information sources criteria from the previous page can also be used to evaluate information you find on the Internet.

View the alternative text version of the interactive image Evaluating websites

Credits: Website  homepage mock-up was created using


Criteria for evaluating information

Inforgraphic titled 'Evaluating Criteria'. The full text of this infographic is reproduced in the section to the left of the image.

It is important that you know how to check that the information you are using to complete assessment tasks is: authoritative, accurate, current and relevant to your assessment requirements.

Evaluate information from books, journal articles or websites using each of the criteria listed below.   

Authority Accuracy Currency Relevance

Authority - who is the author or creator of the information and what are their credentials? 

  • Is the author of the information clearly stated?
  • Is the author an established expert in this field of study, have they published widely on the topic? 
  • Is the author affiliated with a University or other institution, organisation or company?

  • Is the  journal article peer-reviewed?

  • Who is the publisher and why have they published this information? 

Accuracy - is the information accurate? 

  • What evidence is included to support the author's claims? 
  • Are the facts and figures presented referenced?
  • Is a reference list or bibliography included? 

Currency - how up to date is the information? 

In some topic areas currency is more important than others for example in technology, medical and scientific disciplines the most up to date information is usually required. 

  • When was the information written or published? 
  • How often has it been updated?
  • When was it last updated?
  • If it is a book or an eBook, is this the latest edition? 
  • Is the information up to date for the topic?

Relevance - will the information be useful for your assessment task? 

  • Does the information cover my topic in sufficient depth?
  • Does the information meet the marking criteria for my assessment task?
  • Are you looking for a fact or an opinion? For example: Are you seeking a range of views on the justice system in Australia, or are you looking for an expert analysis and facts and figures about incarceration rates in Victoria? 

Maths websites

There are many online resources which provide maths information. Here are a few:

Khan Academy: learn maths and hundreds of other topics for free.
Math Tutor: video lessons and practice exercises.
Math Centre: resources for students and teachers.
Self-instructional maths tutorials (Syracuse University)
Maths Learning Lab (RMIT University)