Old Dominion University Libraries

STARquest II: The Internet and the World Wide Web

3c. Search Tools - Evaluative Sites

These sites are similar to the browsable subject directories. Human beings are involved in selecting and classifying the included sites. They also apply some sort of selection policy, rating or evaluative criteria to the sites they include in the database. You may have noticed that some web sites win a star rating from some of these evaluative sites.

When using these sites it is important to understand the criteria used to select or rate the site. Look for the quality of the content, age appropriateness of the site, the number of other sites that link to a particular site, relevance to a particular topic, etc.

If you have a limited amount of time, use the selective/evaluative sites to help you pinpoint some reviewed and rated Web pages.

Some examples of evaluative sites are Magellan and Lycos Top 5% Home



  • Human filtering produces a smaller, more focused database
  • Evaluative criteria may eliminate junk sites
  • Your own evaluative criteria may not mesh with that of the database maintainers
  • Size, growth rate and currency of the database limited due to human intercession