Evaluation and Scoring

Evaluation Criteria

Awards requests are welcome with the exception of those that are not within the scope of this AP. The criteria is based in the AP purpose. Content is the most important and is valued at 40 points out of 100 (Design is 30 and Navigation is 20). What is taken into consideration in each of the different evaluation sections can be seen in detail in the scoring table.

There are a few negative scoring points related to design details; in many websites those details may have been incorporated with some effort involved, so please excuse us on that. Pages with a minimum design are not negatively evaluated. If design is the owner's or webmaster's main interest, there are other award programs that do emphasize on it and are intended for that scope.

Scoring Table (1)

The scoring points are distributed in 4 sections: Design and Presentation (30), Contents (40), Navigation (20) and Theme and First Impression (10). The following is the Scoring Table:

Design and Presentation (0-30 points)

  1. A clean design in every aspect: graphics, animations, buttons, backgrounds, etc. that facilitates content reading as much as possible.
  2. An attractive main theme, proper positioning of the text (similar font and font size in all windows). Easy to handle banners, buttons and navigation bar.
  3. Balance between images and text. Optimize graphics and its use for fast web pages loading.
  4. Proper behavior with commonly used browsers' latest versions.
  5. Website coding conformance with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) requirements, explicitly showing that compliance (HTML 4.01 and above).
  6. Conformance with W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines, explicitly showing that compliance.

 Deductions in Design and Presentation (0-15 negative points)

  1. Disturbing and annoying animated graphics or advertisements.
  2. Backgrounds images that make reading difficult. Background changes without a justification.
  3. Background music without a disable button. Flash, or similar, website introduction without a bypass button.
  4. Pop-up windows. Automatic full screen pages. A disturbing cursor.

Content (0-40 points)

  1. The information offered by the website initiates in the reader a process of reflection (minimum content is defined in the qualification table of the Alcazarén Award).
  2. Substantial and original content. Document references using links or bibliography (include sources).
  3. When summarizing a topic, the synthesis process gives a correct global impression.
  4. Dates with numerals follow ISO-8601 format (e.g.: yyyy-mm-dd). Measurement units in accordance with the International System of Units (SI).
  5. Good writing style, using correct grammar and facilitating comprehension as much as possible.
  6. Educational and informative contents (introductions, summaries, etc.), original and based on investigation.
  7. Guestbook and interactive forums with a moderator.

Deductions in Content (0-20 negative points)

  1. Improper language (offensive, vulgar, rude, etc.).
  2. Missing data or relevant points of the topic being treated.
  3. Data imprecision; if it is an approximation, say it explicitly; if it is variable, be precise as to how it was measured.

Navigation (0-20 points)

  1. Ease of navigation.
  2. Proper operation of the navigational tools, link to the home page from all windows.
  3. Internal links open in the same window. If a link opens one, its use should be restricted, consistent and justified (e.g. links to another websites).
  4. Links related with the content of the website are included, thus amplifying or documenting the information provided.

Deductions in Navigation (0-10 negative points)

  1. Broken internal links (including images). Broken external links.
  2. Any type of website programming that hampers a normal browser behavior if it is considered unjustified.

Theme and First Impression (0-10 points)

  1. First impression with relation to the content and design.
  2. Website one would like to come back to.


Each section is qualified with regard to the importance and impact on the indicated conditions. The same applies to the deductions (a broken link is not the same as ten, nor is an internal broken link comparable to an external broken link). The minimum (0) and maximum number of points that can be assigned is shown, both positive and negative.

The maximum score is 100 points. For a nominee to obtain an Alcazarén award, the website must have:

  • A score in each of the first 3 sections of at least half of their maximum value, i.e., Design 15 points, Content 20 points and Navigation 10 points.
  • A total score of at least 60 points, based on these points the awards are:
    from 90 to 100 points, gold,
    from 75 to 89 points, silver,
    from 60 to 74 points, bronze.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is meant by "Data imprecision"?

The data is sometimes an approximation, but, if it is not said so, it may be incorrectly understood as an exact figure or number. There is no problem adding: "around", "in the order of", approximately", etc. if needed.

In some circumstances not saying "where" or "when" makes the information useless, e.g.: giving a city population without the census date.

Why do you ask for the ISO-8601 and the SI?

Use of the (International Organization for Standardization) ISO-8601 avoids ambiguity. It is not possible using a 2 digit date format (e.g.: 03-05-02) to know what each of the 3 pairs represent, specially since the turn of the century. ISO-8601 requires a 4 digits year and the sequence to be: year-month-day (yyyy-mm-dd). To further differentiate it from other representations, it uses "-" instead of "/" to separate the 3 numbers.

The SI (International System of Units) is well known as well as the advantages for its use, it derives from the old "mks" system (meter, kiogram and second). For further reading you can visit NIST.

Will you deduct points if external links open in the same window?

No, and also will not if they open a new one. Please note that if an internal link opens in a new window, most probably a deduction applies.


(1). Last Scoring Table update: 2004-11-23.

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