Evaluating Information on the Web: WHY?

A guide with tips, strategies, and related resources that will help you evaluate information on the World Wide Web.


This is a short video highlighting 3 reasons WHY you need to critically evaluate information found on the Web.


The Internet is a tremendous source of information. However, there are several important reasons WHY you must always BE WISE and approach the information you find CRITICALLY.

  • The authority of information on the Internet is varied.  Anyone can author and publish content on the Internet, and in most cases, what is publshed is unregulated, unedited, unfiltered, and unmonitored. Hence the information on the Internet varies widely in terms of quality.

  • Searching the Internet is NOT the same as searching in library databases.  For one, web crawlers and search algorithms are not as precise (specific) as library databases nor do they tap into all servers where information is stored. Second, web searches treat all information sources equally whereas library databases include sources, subjects, and dates that have been carefully vetted and selected. Furthermore, library databases provide enhanced description and features such as subject headings (to collate sources on a given topic) and complete bibliographic information to help you prepare citations.

  • Evaluating sources found on the Internet ensures that you are using reliable, authoritative, and academic-appropriate resources. Your assignment and professor will have expectations that may not be adequately fulfilled by the authority and quality of all information found on the Internet. 
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