This page provides you with:


To become familiar with effective Internet search techniques, read

courtesy of Jim Kapoun, reference and instruction librarian at Southwest State University, © 2000

Five criteria for evaluating Web pages
Evaluation of Web documents
How to interpret the basics
1. Accuracy of Web Documents
  • Who wrote the page and can you contact him or her?
  • What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced?
  • Is this person qualified to write this document?
  • Make sure author provides e-mail or a contact address/phone number.
  • Know the distinction between author and Webmaster.
2. Authority of Web Documents
  • Who published the document and is it separate from the "Webmaster?"
  • Check the domain of the document, what institution publishes this document?
  • Does the publisher list his or her qualifications?
  • What credentials are listed for the author(s)?
  • Where is the document published? Check URL domain.
3. Objectivity of Web Documents
  • What goals/objectives does this page meet?
  • How detailed is the information?
  • What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author?
  • Determine if page is a mask for advertising; if so information might be biased.
  • View any Web page as you would an infommercial on television. Ask yourself why was this written and for whom?
4. Currency of Web Documents
  • When was it produced?
  • When was it updated?
  • How up-to-date are the links (if any)?
  • How many dead links are on the page?
  • Are the links current or updated regularly?
  • Is the information on the page outdated?
5. Coverage of the Web Documents
  • Are the links (if any) evaluated and do they complement the documents theme?
  • Is it all images or a balance of text and images?
  • Is the information presented cited correctly?
  • If page requires special software to view the information, how much are you missing if you don’t have the software?
  • Is it free, or is there a fee, to obtain the information?
  • Is there an option for text only, or frames, or a suggested browser for better viewing?
Putting it all together
  • Accuracy. If your page lists the author and institution that published the page and provides a way of contacting him/her, and . . .
  • Authority. If your page lists the author credentials and its domain is preferred (.edu, .gov, .org, or .net), and . . .
  • Objectivity. If your page provides accurate information with limited advertising and it is objective in presenting the information, and . . .
  • Currency. If your page is current and updated regularly (as stated on the page) and the links (if any) are also up-to-date, and . . .
  • Coverage. If you can view the information properly—not limited to fees, browser technology, or software requirement, then . . .
You may have a higher quality Web page that could be of value to your research!


Follow this link to access web sites and information on a variety of different subject areas

REFERENCE: The Best Source for Facts on the Web--This is a wonderful site that contains links to virtually any topic imaginable


The following links allow you to search The CUNY Library System:

Use the C4 MultiSearch engine to locate information for your focus discipline research.
C4 searches several Internet search engines at the same time.

Visit C4.Com
Search using the web or any other of the C4 engines.
Visit our C4 Sponsors!

Go to

for a form of meta-search engine that clusters the results of queries to various search engines and directories. Vivisimo is very useful because the results are grouped based on title, URL, and brief descriptions found on the Web sites. This search engine is best used for getting a general overview of what is available.

Search Yahoo

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Search AltaVista

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Page last updated on September 25, 2001