Second Level Evaluation of Web Search Results

To answer the question of whether we should use this page, we need to put the page in context. Here are some questions to ask while looking at the page and the site where it is located:

  • Who "published" this page? What is their purpose?
  • Since we are dealing with laws, the date of the material is important. How sure are we of the date on this page?
  • Where is the page located? Is it the "original"?
  • Do we want to use this page?

The page itself is a very plain page that looks like a Table of Contents for the Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately, there is no date on the page itself (only the date in the title of the page) and no clues to the page's context are present. Each link provides text of parts of the law.

If we "backtrack" using the domain name in the URL (as described in the Exploring section on the Web), we find the home page for National Fisherman Online. The title of the page tells us it is by "National Fisherman, the most widely-read commercial fishing magazine." The page includes links to news, advertisements, and a "retail store" among many others.

Where does the U.S. Code page we found fit in? The "Mariner's Library" connects to a page with: Links, Directories, Business Manual and Federal Law. According to the Federal Law link, we have found "... the Most Relevant Federal Laws Governing Our Nation's Fisheries ... updated through September, 1997, except for those modified by Public Law 104-208."

The page we started with, is under the link for "Endangered Species Act." We now have some of its context. We don't know, however, whether it was modified by Public Law 104-208.