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Evaluating Websites and Blogs (Law Library)

Scope of Coverage/Comprehensiveness

What is the breadth of coverage of the web site?

Scope of coverage is the extent to which a source explores a topic.  This can include time periods or jurisdiction.

Is there a comparable print resource?  How does the coverage on the web site compare to the print resource?  Sometimes print resources will include many years of coverage, while the web resource will cover only relatively current material.

Compare the web site to other sites that cover the same material.

How far back in time does the material cover?

For blogs, look at the Blog Archive to see how long the blog has been online.



 What is the depth of coverage?

Does the site provide in-depth coverage of the topic or is it just an overview?

The purpose of the web resource may be to provide a brief overview for a general or casual audience.  This may not be in-depth enough for your purpose.

Scholarly content, which treats a subject in-depth, is very text based; whereas entertainment focused web sites have a lot of multimedia and much less text.

Many print materials have value added features such as annotations and headnotes. Owing to the time and cost associated with these features most free web resources will not have them.

Compare these sites

Compare these sites: - scholarly purpose. - news

What about this site

Scholarly or newsy?  (Answer- This site would be similar to a trade journal.  Something a practicing lawyer would read just to keep up with general legal trends.  It is not for deep or scholarly treatment of topics.)