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Criteria for evaluating Web sites:
- Purpose and Audience - Who is the information designed to reach? Why is it on the Web?
- Authority - Who is responsible? What are their credentials? Do they provide biography or references? Do they credit other information sources? Is there contact information for the author or producer?
- Scope - What is the time period covered? Is the coverage general or detailed? Are there relevant and helpful links to other Web sites?
- Accuracy - Are the facts reliable given what you already know about the subject? Is the information objective or does it have a clearly stated bias? How does it compare to other sources (print and non-print)?
- Currency - Is there a date of creation on the Web site? How frequently is it updated? Is there obviously out-of-date information? Do the links still work?
- Design - Is it easy and quick (less than three clicks) to navigate? Is it easy to locate pertinent information? Is it cluttered? Does it have distracting backgrounds or too many graphics that slow it down? Can you search it? Does it require plug-ins or players?
- Commercialism - Is it trying to sell something? Are there hidden costs? Do you have to provide personal information? Is the site secure?
- Evaluation by Others - Is it favorably reviewed by experts?
Biology Related Websites
"The PLANTS Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories." It is provided by the USDA.
CELLS alive! represents 30 years of capturing film and computer-enhanced images of living cells and organisms for education and medical research.
Tree of Life
The Tree of Life Web Project is a collection of information about biodiversity compiled collaboratively by hundreds of expert and amateur contributors. Its goal is to contain a page with pictures, text, and other information for every species and for each group of organisms, living or extinct.
Other Agencies, Associations, Organizations, and Programs
Use the site: operator to find higher quality websites. Here's how:
Type site:gov OR site:org OR site:edu
Then add your search terms to make Google only give you back results from government, organizational, or college/university sites.
Ex. site:gov global economic trade agreements