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Evaluating Demographic Websites: Toward Webometric Criteria

Wang, Chengzhi

The conventional criteria of website evaluation are widely applied in evaluating online information, which is an important component of information literacy instruction in academic institutions. However, mainly from the users' angle and inherently bibliographic, these criteria tend to be general in nature and fail to differentiate the qualities of websites at similar quality levels. Thus, evaluation criteria from webometric perspectives that utilize measurable data and tangible information are needed for more informed assessment. The purpose of this article is to introduce and apply essential webometric criteria to supplement the conventional criteria to improve information literacy instruction. The article first synthesizes the widely used conventional criteria into Six C's for the sake of simplicity and applicability. Then, important webometric criteria of popularity, profundity, luminosity, and error-checking are introduced. Next, the webometric data collected from leading demography research institutions' websites in the U. S. are analyzed. The article concludes that while conventional criteria continue to be convenient and useful, particularly for novel web users, a basic set of webometric criteria can serve as a supplementary tool to provide additional insights into evaluating online resources.

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Published In
Journal of Library and Information Science
Volume
31
Issue
2
Pages
52 - 61
Academic Units
Libraries and Information Services
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