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Library Guide for Online Students

This guide is for students taking online classes at Moorpark College

Domain Names

Limiting  your search to specific domains (.edu or .gov) can remove some of the less reputable websites from your Google searches. 

.com - commercial or business

.edu - educational institution

.org - organization (often non-profit)

.gov - government organization

Evaluating Web Pages

Whenever you are considering using a website as a source, it is very important that you review the contents in detail. An easy way to make a determination is to use Jim Kapoun's Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages:

  1. Accuracy - Can you find an actual author? Is the contact information provided correct? 
  2. Authority - Does the author have any credentials? Have they conducted any research? What makes them an expert? 
  3. Objectivity - Is the information biased? Are they linked to other organizations (especially commercial)? 
  4. Currency - When was the last update to this website? 
  5. Coverage - How in depth is the material? Is it basic, informative information you can get anywhere else?

There are many other resources to evaluate web pages easily accessible through the Web. One of the more interesting examples is CSU Chico's CRAAP Test.

Website Evaluation

(based on Kathy Shrock's guide to evaluation)

‚Äč

  • Can you find the author?
  • Is the contact information provided correct?
  • Does the author have any credentials?
  • What makes the author an expert?

  • What is the purpose of the site? 
  • What type of audience is your article written for (general public, students, experts)? 

  

  • When was the story posted? 
  • When was the last update to the website?
  • Does your topic require current information? 

 

  • Where did the information come from? 
  • Is the information linked to any organizations that may demonstrate a bias?
  • Does the source present fact or opinion?

 

  • Why is this information useful for my research?
  • Why should I use this? Can you verify that this is a credible source? 
  • How in depth is the material? Is it basic informative information you can get anywhere?
 

 

Evaluating News Sources