11. Evaluating Web Sites: Clues to recognition from others
Checking to see whether others have linked to a web site or tagged or cited it
lets you know who else on the web recognizes the value of the site's content.
Reader comments and ratings can also be informative about some sites you may be
evaluating, such as blogs.
Those links, tags, bookmarks, citations, and
positive reader comments and ratings are evidence that other authors
consider the site exemplary.
Exactly what individuals and organizations are doing the linking,
tagging, citing, rating and commenting may also be important to you. There may
be some company you'd rather your site not keep! Or, maybe the sites that link
to the one you're evaluating may help solidify your positive feelings about the
Don't let an absence of links, tags, citations, ratings, and comments
damn the site in your evaluation. Perhaps it's just not well-known to other
authors. The lack of them should just mean this factor can't add any positive or
negative weight to your eventual decision to use the site - it's a neutral.
Click the plus sign to open the full Advanced Search
Scroll down to Page Specific Tools.
Enter the URL in the box labeled Find pages that link to the
2. Find public bookmarks for the site
Find public bookmarks for the site you're evaluating on
sites such as Delicious.
Enter the site title or the URL in the search box at the top of
Look to find out how many people have tagged this site.
3. Find reactions to a blog
Technorati is a useful tool for finding out more about blogs and
bloggers. For each blog that is mentioned on Technorati, a figure called
an authority rating is calculated to reflect what Technorati
considers the blog's influence in the blogosphere, based on how many
other sites link to it (within an unspecified amount of time), among
other data. A blog's overall authority rating is calculated, as well as
its rating within its Technorati category. A rating of 1,000 is the
highest authority rating.
From Technorati's home page:
Click the Blogs (not Posts) tab to the left of the search box.
In the search box, enter the blogger's name or the title of the
In the list that appears, click on the title of the blog to get
4. Find citations of an article
There is no simple way to find every source that cites an article in a
popular magazine, a blog, or a scholarly journal. The peer review
of most articles undergo before publication in a scholarly journal lets
you know they're considered worth publishing by other scholars, but you
might also be interested see to what extent an article has been used by
other researchers after it was published. (That use is what necessitates
their citation.) But keep in mind that there may not be any citations
for very new popular magazines, blogs, or scholarly journal articles.
For articles published in popular magazines or on blogs:
In the search box of a search engine like Google, enter the
title of the article in quotes. The resulting list should show you
the original article you're evaluating, plus other sites that have
mentioned it in some way. Click on those that you want to know more
Here's an example
using Google for a blog article called Authority in the Age of
the Amateur by Ellyssa Kroski.
For articles published in scholarly journals:
In the search box of Google Scholar, enter the title of the
article in quotes.
In the results list, find the article you're evaluating. (Many
articles have the same titles.)
Look for the number of citations in the lower left of the
listing for your article.
If you want more information on the authors who have done the
citing, click on the citation number for a clickable list of
articles or papers and get the names of authors to look up at the
end of the articles or with a search engine. (This is a good way to
discover more articles about your topic, too.)
Use specialized citation databases
Web of Science and
Scopus (both OSU only) to find where an article or author has
Make the inference: Consider the clues. Then decide the extent
to which the site's recognition from others is acceptable for your
purpose. It might help to grade the extent to which this factor
contributes to the site being a suitable on a scale like this one:
You'll want to make a note of the web site's grade for recognition
so you can combine it later with the grades you give the other factors.