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September/October 2001Vol. 2, No. 5WebGuide Evaluates Child-Related Websites

A new website for parents, child care professionals, students, and the general public has been created by Tufts University's Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development. The Child & Family WebGuide identifies, describes and evaluates many websites that provide research-based information on family, education, health, typical development, child care, and activities.

Developed with department faculty, librarians and the Society for Research in Child Development, additional input was also obtained from other experts such as Fred Rogers ("Mr. Rogers") and Edward Zigler (founder of Head Start).

Sites are evaluated by Tufts child development graduate students, who are trained in the use of WebGuide's evaluation methods and under faculty supervision. Evaluated sites are ranked with stars—one star (poor) to five stars (excellent). Evaluation criteria include:

  • Content—level of documentation provided for presented information (citations of sources for research and statistics, etc.)
  • Authority—redentials such as education status of authors, quantity and quality of research publications, affiliations and professional experience of sponsor organizations and individual authors of presented information
  • Stability—the presence (or absence) of a creation or copyright date, evidence of site maintenance and updates, and consistent dating of interior pages
  • Ease of use—accessibility of the site's material, ease of navigation, consistent page layout, working links and acceptable loading time.

Two sponsoring organizations of the Children's Bureau Express were listed on the WebGuide. The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information ( received a five-star rating, and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse ( received a four-star rating.

Access the WebGuide at: