Having selected several search engines, decided on specific search terms, and assembled the results of these searches, the researcher is faced with the task of winnowing through the results. The evaluative process will assist the researcher in distinguishing the good from the bad, the authoritative from the unsubstantiated, the timely from the outdated. Each page should be examined and the following questions answered:
Let's take a look at the following Website (link opens new window):
Answer the questions to the right based on what is shown on the Website. Once you have answered all six questions, close the window for the Website and check to see if your answers match ours.
Those used to examining printed books and journals for this kind of information will not find it as easy to determine the answers to these questions on the Web. Search engines frequently bring the researcher deep into a Website. Authoring information (though it should be on every page) is not always apparent, and it can take some amount of time and skill to discover the source of a Web page. Following links to the "Home" page is one method of ascertaining the author; another is looking for the root of the URL. However, the root URL (especially on educational or network sites) can be deceptive. For example, the root can merely be the host for an unaffiliated individual's (for example, a student) Web space.