LIBRARY SUBJECT GUIDE:
When it comes to evaluating web pages, think APPLES (an acronym for Accuracy,
Player(s), Perspective, Links, Evidence, Sources).
Check Perspective Check Sources
Check Accuracy: The problem of web research is to determine if the information is
accurate. The best way to do this is to find other sources that give the same or similar
information. Backing-up your sources is a good practice in any research venue. Beyond
back-up sources, you should check the credentials of the writer(s), investigate the
perspective (bias) of the site, check the links at the site (and to the site), evaluate the kinds
of evidence, and review the kinds of sources used to document the web site.
Check Player(s): If a resource is offering specialized information, the site builder
should have the credentials to support the information. If not, the writer should supply
documentation of the sources for his/her information. Yet you should also look beyond who
wrote the page to who is sponsoring the page. Is it a commercial site (.com)? A non-profit
site (.org)? An educational site (.edu)? Who is sponsoring the page can tell you a lot about
the potential for bias.
Check Perspective: Most web sites have a perspective or advocate something. They
may be trying to sell a product, gain support for a cause, or change the views of the reader
(or may be just having fun). Does the perspective add to or take away from the credibility of
Check Links: A good resource will supply links to other resources. Do the links support
your resource? If yes, are the sources at the ends of the links good ones? Checking links
will also tell you if the site is well maintained. Broken links (links that do not work) may tell
you that the site is not updated or maintained.
Check Evidence: A good resource will have detailed evidence and will offer different
kinds of evidence (authority, definitions, stati