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Information literacy: Evaluating the quality of internet sites

Criteria for assessing internet sites

The criteria discussed before (in 'Evaluating criteria') for assessing information can also be used for information you find on the internet. Because anyone can publish anything on the internet, it is particularly important to critically assess the quality of the source when you use information from the internet.

Below you will find a number of characteristics that will help you determine whether an internet site is reliable.

Characteristics of a reliable website

- Detailed background information about the author and/or organization responsible for the content of the site or document

- The site is well-maintained; information is updated regularly

- A clear structure and well-formulated sentences without spelling mistakes

Characteristics of an unreliable website

- Anonymity

- The site is not well-maintained; information is outdated

- Careless use of language. Grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and typing errors can be an indication of carelessness and/or ignorance, and also point to a lack of quality control