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GLST 300 - Introduction to International Development: Evaluating Sources

Library resources and Services related to International Development.

ABCD Evaluation Method

Author, Bias, Content, Date Evaluation

SIFT: Evaluation Actions


Investigate the source

Find better coverage

Trace claims, quotes and media to the original context

sift visual

Credit for SIFT goes to Mike Caulfield and is shared here under a Creative Commons license.

Evaluating Web Sites

Criteria 1: Authority

1. Is it clear who (organization, institution, or person) is responsible for the contents?

2. Is there a link to a page describing the goals of the organization, the nature of the company, or purpose of the sponsor?

3. Is there a way of verifying the legitimacy of the sponsor? That is, is there a phone number or postal address to contact for more information? (An email address is not always enough.)

4. Is there a statement that the content of the page has the official approval of the sponsor?

5. Is it clear whether this is a page from the main sponsor?

6. Is there a statement giving the sponsor's name as copyright holder?


Criteria 2: Accuracy

1. Are the sources for any factual information clearly listed so they can be verified in another source? (If not, the page may still be useful to you as an example of the ideas of the organization, but it is not useful as a source of factual information).

2. Is the information free of grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors? (These kinds of errors not only indicate a lack of quality control, but can actually produce inaccuracies in information.)


Criteria 3: Objectivity

1. Are the writer's/ sponsor's biases clearly stated?

2. If there is any advertising on the page, is it clearly differentiated from the informational content?


Criteria 4: Currency

1. Are there dates on the page to indicate:

  • When the page was written?
  • When the page was first placed on the Web?
  • When the page was last revised?

2. Are there any other indications that the material is kept current?


Criteria 5: Coverage

1. Is there an indication that the page has been completed, and is not still under construction?

2. Is it clear what topics the page intends to address?

3. Does the page succeed in addressing these topics, or has something significant been left out?

4. Is the point of view of the sponsor presented in a clear manner with its arguments well supported?

Media Bias Chart

Who owns the News?

who owns the news

Harris, M. (2020, May 18). Why Are We Still Listening To Mainstream News?. Medium.

who bought the media

Hooker, L. (2018, September 18). Why do billionaires want to own the news?. BBC News.