This site is a contribution to the OAH’s call for “an expanded range of session formats that are dynamic, innovative, and interactive” for their annual meetings. The organization's hopes to promote something more than the traditional format of scholars reading papers, listening to a formal comment, and participating in a standard discussion. This, then, is very much an experiment and depends on the active participation of an audience both before, during, and after the session.


According to available research, most website visitors make their decisions about the credibility or authenticity of the site in 10 seconds or less. The point of this excercise is to evaluate six sites in terms of their credibility or authenticity as a history site. Look at the following sites very briefly (no more than 10 seconds) and make your rating using the poll under the menu. The entire exercise should take you two minutes or less. (Be aware that the load time might take a bit; the images are larger than normal, and the poll arrives from a different server.)

After you've finished the polls and if you have the inclination, hop over the Picture This! Blog and add a comment. How did you gauge the credibility of a site? What criteria did you use in assessment of the website? What more would you need to know about a site to render an informed decision? What makes a history website valuable for your research and teaching? Results of the polls and blog discussion will be folded into the presentations during the session.