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Z204 Women Musicians

This guide will assist Christine Wisch's students in locating sources for their playlist project.

5 Criteria for Evaluating Websites

It is important to remember that not all web-based content was created equal. There's no such thing as a perfect website! But, by considering the questions and criteria below, you will be able to determine whether a website is reliable enough to use.


  • Key question: How accurate is the information? Is it supported by other reliable sources?
  • Also: Are images credited to their sources? Does the information seem complete? Are there spelling errors?


  • Key question: Does the author have authority on the subject?  
    • Who is the author? Are they even identified?    
    • What are the authors' credentials and affiliations?    
    • Do they seem to have expertise in the relevant area?    
    • Do they provide contact information?


  • Key question: Is the website's purpose to inform? To sell? To persuade?    
  • Also: Does the information seem to be presented objectively? What biases might affect the reliability of the information?


  • Key question: Is the information presented current or out of date?  
    • When was the page published? Has it been updated? Are any links broken?


  • Key question: Is the site's information relevant to your research needs?     
    • How detailed is it? What is its intended audience? What is its scope?


Still unsure? Contact Misti Shaw at the Cook Music Library (mistshaw @