Evaluating currency is dependant on your needs as well as how long ago something entered the information cycle. If you know you need recent information, it is important to look for a date and time that something was posted. In addition, you will want to check the date of any references provided. Having new information may be less important to some topics, and some sites may intentionally leave dates out to make the appeal more timeless. Dates can be hard to find on websites. Here are some places you might find date information:
Authority, simply put, means that the entity providing the information is qualified to provide that type of information. Just as you expect your instructor to have a background and expertise in the area they are teaching, you should expect the same from those you are asking for information! In order to evaluate authority take the following steps:
To determine if a site's information is accurate, you need to check to see if you can find the information elsewhere. Anyone can write a fact on the internet. Some are very easy to verify, such as "Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania", while others require a little more work. An author might provide a reference or link to their source of information, or you can search online to see if other's have the same information.
Evaluating the objectivity of information can be tricky. Often websites are made up of multiple types of information. A source that is aimed toward advertising a product can also be a source of accurate information about that product. Therefore you have to look at a source both as a whole and as a sum of its parts.