George Mason University


How to Evaluate a Web Page

Caveat user! The Web has a lot to offer, but not all pages are equally valuable or reliable -- you have to evaluate the source to make sure that you can trust the information. Some basic questions to ask yourself include:

  • Is the information reliable and error-free?
  • Is there an author?
  • Is there a sponsoring organization?
  • What are the author's credentials?
  • What are the sponsoring organization's credentials?
  • Is there a link to information about the author?
  • Is there a link to information about the sponsoring organization?
  • If the page indicates neither an author nor a sponsoring organization, is there any other way to determine the page's origin from the URL? (.edu, .gov, .org, etc.)
  • Does the page have a date on it?
  • When was the page last updated?
  • Is there any advertising on the page?
  • Are the links current? Have links expired or moved?
  • How in-depth is the material?
  • Is the page designed to sway opinion?

Need help? Just ask! Librarians or reference desk staff can assist you.
Questions adapted from: