SHE3001 Social Bases of Health: Websites

Evaluating websites

Information from websites 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 or essay.

Anyone can author or publish material on a website. No quality control process is required.

This doesn't mean that you shouldn't use information from websites just that you need to apply evaluation criteria to ensure you are using reliable, quality information

 Authority - What type of site is it? Who authored the content? What is their expertise? What is the intended audience?

 Accuracy - How has the author demonstrated accuracy of their information? What evidence is presented? Does the site reference other sources?

 Currency - When was the last time the site was updated? Does the information presented have a "published" date?

Evaluating Information Infographic (plain text version)

Evaluating Criteria

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: 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?

  • 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?

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