Searching | Evaluation | Ethical Use

EVALUATING resources on the Web

Tip #1: What is the AUTHOR'S expertise?

Questions to ask:

How credible is the author of the web page?

How much experience does the author have in this area?

  • What is the author's occupation?
  • What is the author's educational background?
  • What is the author's reputation among others in the field?


Anyone can author information on the Internet WITHOUT approval. The content of most Web pages is published BEFORE it is evaluated by people with knowledge of the subject. By contrast, books, magazines and other print resources are published AFTER thorough reviews by experts.


Look for other pages by the author on the same site or other sites. If the site has a site-search engine or site map, use one of these to help you find additional pages by or about the author. If this strategy isn't available, try truncating the URL to find additional pages residing on the same server. To find information on other sites, enter the author's name in a search engine.


All authors who worked on this project are associated with IMSA, a prestigious educational institution. The senior author and former director of Online Learning, Dr. David Barr, is a member of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). His expertise comes through working with schools throughout the state to develop innovative educational programs, serving on the Illinois State Board of Education's Technology Coalition Planning Committee and the Illinois Century Network's Advanced Engineering Advisory Committee. In 2014, Carl Heine and Dennis O'Connor co-authored Teaching Information Fluency, a book for librarians and educators published by Scarecrow Press.