How do you know if the information found on the Internet is good quality, authoritative information — or garbage?
Learn here how to evaluate web pages for quality in only 10 minutes.
THE 5 Ws
The Washington State Library recommends using 5 Ws: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY.
WHO is responsible for the site? Is there an author? If so, what are his/her credentials? Is the ‘author’ an organization or association?
WHAT type of site is it? The web site’s URL address will have one of the following abbreviations to identify the type of site: .edu = educational; .org = organization; .gov = government; .com = commercial; .net = network/utilities; .mil = military
WHERE can you find more information? Is there contact information other than an email address? Is there documentation for factual statements made? Are there links to other viewpoints, if applicable?
WHY was the site created? Is the goal to sell? To persuade? To advocate an agenda? To inform? Why are advertisements (if any) there? Do they relate to the site?
Look at the two videos below to compare two different websites on the topic of AIDS according to the 5 Ws.
Thank you for taking this 30-second survey to let us know if the information covered in these tutorials was relevant and helpful.