Checklist of Criteria Used for Evaluation of Metasites

Design Criteria
Site Map/Table of Contents Does site have this?
Text-Only Option Is this available for slower browsers or the visually impaired?
Indexing/Classification What type and variety of access points are used to get user to appropriate information?
Screen Size Entry point to site is how many screen lengths? The shortest page found? The longest page found?
Use of Tables Are tables used? (Y/N) Is text properly formatted within tables to facilitate access for text-browsers?
Use of Frames Are frames used? (Y/N)
Use of Java Are Java applets used? Is javascript required to be activated? (Y/N)
Use of Cookies Are cookies used? (Y/N) If cookies are turned off on the browser, how many cookies are delivered on the first screen? How many on subsequent screens? Is a way given to access the site without cookies? What happens if the cookies are refused?
Use of Animated GIFs Are animated GIFs used? (Y/N)
Navigation Help Is a "Help" screen available?
Navigation Tools Are links available to assist with navigating the site, such as "Return to Homepage", "Return to Head of Section", "Previous Page", "Next Page", ...
Annotated Links Are index or directional links annotated or described? Are subject and content links annotated?
Search Engine Does a search engine exist? Does is retrieve useful or accurate results based on the search entered? (Ranked 1 to 5, with "1" being high.)
Search Features Does the search engine allow use of boolean operators? Wildcards or truncation? Is a thesaurus used (this was loosely interpreted in this study)? Is a hierarchical subject listing used? Is there a browsable index? Other features?
Search Help Is there a help screen for the search engine describing how to use it most effectively?
FTP/BBS/Chat/List Special features available?
External Design Standards Does the site define adherence to external design and/or content standards? This would include web-accessibility standards (such as "Bobby") as well as HONcode, discussed on the "Best of the Best" page.
Cute Tricks Unique or special features not otherwise accounted for in the criteria.
Content Criteria
Target Audience Scope of the site. 1) Is this identified? 2) What is it?
Statement of Purpose Is this present? (Y/N)
Criteria for Selection Is use of a selection policy stated? Is actual policy available?
Who Selects This was used to help determine the authoritativeness of the selection process. IE. Does the primary selector have a background in the subject domain? Medical experience? Are they a librarian? Etc.
Update Frequency Self explanatory.
Disclaimer Is a legal disclaimer visible on the site? (Y/N)
Copyright Statement Present? (Y/N)
Publisher Listed (Y/N)
Advertising Is advertising present?
Ads Distinct from Content What is the relationship between advertising and the content? Are they conceptually related? Is advertising separated from content on the site (IE. "Please visit our supporters ...") or is it integrated into each page?
Administrative and Quality Control Criteria
Content Access Errors Are the internal links to content within the site all functioning as they should be?
Dead Ends Is it possible within the site to navigate to pages which provide no links for returning to other sections of the site?
Dead Links/Links Checked Are dead links found on the site? With what frequency?
Spelling and Grammar Errors Are these frequent, periodic, or rare?
Contact Information Is this information made available? If not, is some mechanism made available to respond to the site developer(s)? Is this person medical, library, technical, or clerical?
Who Maintains Site Is this the same as above?
Quality Control How is this handled? Is there a designated person(s) responsible for this?
Response Time Response time to e-mail queries or submitted forms: (1) Ideal response time claimed by the site; (2) Actual response time to our query.
Health on the Net Foundation
Health A to Z
Medical Matrix
Medical World Search
Multimedia Medical Reference Library
Health Sciences Library, U of Pittsburgh
Virtual Hospital
WWW Virtual Library: Biosciences: Medicine
Yahoo Health

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Last updated: May 23, 1998.
Copyright 1997, 1998, P. F. Anderson, Nancy Allee, Jean Chung, Brian Westra, Virginia Lingle.