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Evaluating Information - STAAR Method: Website Evaluation

This guide is designed to help you evaluate websites & other sources of information

Evaluating web sites using the staar method header

Why Evaluate?

Whether researching for an assignment or personal curiosity the internet can be a very quick and rewarding fountain of information; it can also be a quagmire of personal opinions and misinformation.  All information you gather from the internet should be given scrutiny, printed materials like those collected in a library usually go through an evaluative and editorial process before they are published and collected in libraries.  The Internet has removed the restrictions and editorial process typical for print materials; anyone can publish on the web. 

To insure that the Web sites you use as information sources are acceptable, you should ask questions about those sites, learn to question the information and the source. The STAAR method of web page evaluation has been created to help you find quality (or 5 STAAR) resources.  This is not a definitive list of questions but rather a method to encourage researching information and where it comes from.

Information, Propaganda, Misinformation & Disinformation

The Information and it's counterfeits page will help you be able to distinguish real information from its three look-a-likes, or counterfeits: propaganda, misinformation and disinformation. Understanding the counterfeits will enable you to become a much more critical consumer of information.

Reading the URL

When evaluating a website there are several things to take into consideration, one of the first things to look at is the URL including the domain suffix this can tell you several things about the website, the creator, the audience, the purpose and sometimes even the country of origin. 

Other Evaluation Methods

STAAR Evaluation Method

Is your website a S.T.A.A.R.? Can you tell if a web page is worth using or not? Look at the 5 points in the S.T.A.A.R. evaluation method to see how it stacks up. Give the website your own personal rating. The S.T.A.A.R. evaluation method was created by Laura Karas and the Librarians at University of South Carolina Upstate based on both the A.B.C. and the C.R.A.A.P. methods of evaluating websites.

S = Slant

T = Topical

A = Authority

A = Accuracy

R = Relevance