F: Is the site FRIENDLY to the eyes? Is it easy to read? Did the creator take time to make a well designed website? Is the site free of lots of flashy things that distract you from the text? If someone doesn’t bother to present the information in a neat fashion, the information may not be worth using.
A: Does the AUTHOR have AUTHORITY? Is he an expert on the issue? Does the author identify herself and give you a way to contact her and ask a question? If someone doesn’t bother to take credit for his work, that may be a sign that he doesn’t want to be connected to it.
R: Is the information REPEATED elsewhere? Does the author cite her sources so you can verify her information? If you find the most fascinating tidbit of information, but only one person claims to know it, and can’t tell you where she learned that, and no other source confirms it, it’s probably not a piece of information you want to use.
T: Is the information TIMELY? When was the information published? Is your topic time sensitive? Has the website been updated recently? Old information doesn’t help with current issue research and websites that have been abandoned may not be the best sources.
Other things to consider when evaluating website:
Be aware! These questions are not a checklist. Some credible websites will not meet all of the criteria AND other unreliable websites may include some of the credible criteria.