ION | Illinois Online Network

Applying Evaluative Tests: Quality

Most scholarly journal articles pass through a peer review process, whereby several readers must examine and approve content before it is published. Professional editors do the same job for books and commercial periodicals. Statements issued in the name of an organization have almost always been seen and approved by several people.

Evidence of quality control of Internet materials includes these items:

Information presented on organizational web sites:
For example: sites associated with academic or government institutions, well known businesses such as Sotheby's auction house, or information web sites such as the Wall Street Journal, or the Los Angeles Times.

On-line Journals that use refereeing by editors or others:
Many professional on-line journals have a rigorous refereeing process that material must pass through before it is published on-line. This process is the same as for printed versions of their journals. Professional organizations have the same reputation on-line as they do off-line.

Style and Functionality:
Is the site laid out clearly and logically with well organized subsections?
Is the site easy to navigate and find your way around?

Also, if you notice the use of bad grammar or misspelled words in a web site, it is a sign for caution. Whether the errors come from carelessness or ignorance, neither puts the information or the writer in a favorable light.