Assessing website quality in context: Retrieving information about genetically modified food on the web.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nora J. Bird, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Introduction. Knowing the credibility of information about genetically modified food on the Internet is critical to the everyday life information seeking of consumers as they form opinions about this nascent agricultural technology. The Website Quality Evaluation Tool (WQET) is a valuable instrument that can be used to determine the credibility of Websites on any topic. Method. This study sought to use the WQET to determine the quality of Websites in the context of biotechnology or genetically modified food and to seek one or more easily identified characteristics, such as bias, commitment, use of meta-tags and site update-access interval (length of time between last update of the site and the date reviewed) that might be used as a quick discriminator of a Website's quality. Analysis. Using SPSS, analysis of variance and regression analyses were performed with the website variables of a population of one hundred Websites about genetically modified food. Results. Only the site update-access interval was found to be a shortcut quality indicator with an inverse relationship. The longer the interval the lower the quality score. Conclusion. The study established a model for Website quality evaluation. The update-access interval proved to be the single clear-cut indicator to judge Website quality in everyday information seeking.

Additional Information

Information Research, 10 (2) paper 213
Language: English
Date: 2005
Credibility, Website, Analysis, Evaluation, Assessment, Web, Internet

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