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Instruction Videos: Evaluating Web sites' Information

Users can learn to use library resources by watching screening videos about various topics.


- We encourage you to start your research from the IUS Library. But if you don’t find enough resources, you may want to find related web sites.

- However, not all the web sites are reliable since anyone can create one. You can use 5W +1H guidelines for evaluation. These 5 W’s are what, who, when, where, why and 1 H how.

- What? What does the website talk about? How easy is it to navigate the content? What does the URL tell you? .edu domain means educational or institutional websites; .gov is the government domain; You will find a wide range of quality and scholarly information from these two domains; .com and .org domains compose most websites, but they can be risky to use.

- Who? Who is the creator or the author? Are you able to find his/her credentials and contact information? Is he/she associated with an institution? See whether you can find the “about us” link.

- Where? Where is the information from? Are you able to find a list of references or cited works? Where is the funding from?

- When? When is the information published? Is it current? It’s especially important to use up-to-date information in science fields.

- Why? What is the purpose of the website? Does it try to sell you products? Or do they want to persuade you about some issues?

- How? How do creators provide information? Do they quote statistics from government agencies? Is the information neutral or biased?

- Remember 5W + 1H guidelines are just an option for web site evaluation, and they are not steadfast rules.

How to evaluate information on Web sites