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SOWK 410 Practice III: Evaluating Internet Sources

Evaluating Internet Sources

Always make sure that internet resources are appropriate for your project. I give out this handout in class and students apply the SCRAP test when evaluating websites.



Website Evaluation Criteria


Try the SCRAP Test


 S- Scope



·         What is the depth of the site? Too elementary, too advanced?


·         Does it provide comprehensive coverage or mere compilation of links?


·         Is it relevant to your information needs?



 C- Currency


 ·         Is there a date when the site was created or last updated?


·         Are the hyperlinks current?


·         In the absence of a copyright or revision date, can you determine if the information is current?



R- Reliability


·         Are the sources documented? Can you verify them?


·         Are the research methods revealed or is the content primarily opinion based? Is it balanced information?


·         Is the content coming from scholarly/peer-reviewed sources?


·         Does it have an unbiased tone?




·         Who is the author/publisher/sponsor?


·         What are their credentials/qualifications?


·         What are their organizational affiliations?


·         Is there contact information?


  P- Purpose/Point of View


·         Why is the information being posted? Who is the target audience? Determine if the site is trying to inform, teach, entertain, advertise, persuade or sell.


·         Is there any bias or do the points of view appear to be objective?


·         Who is sponsoring the website?


o   Consider domains (.com, .edu, .org, .gov, .biz, .net etc.)


o   A tilde (~) in the Web address often indicates a personal Web page.