With the overabundance of information available on the internet,
it is especially important to evaluate the quality of Internet resources. It
is your responsibility as a researcher to verify the credibility of the Websites
that you use. Remember that anyone can create a Website. You should expect from
Websites the same degree of credentials, authority, and documentation as you
expect from a book, journal or newspaper article. Consider the following criteria
as you evaluate a Website and as you make decisions on whether or not to include
the Website information in your research.
- Reputable Sources
- Government (.gov,.gov, .mil, .us, or other country code)
- Educational, (.edu)
- Nonprofit organizations (.org)
- Citation Information - You will want to keep track of the
(author, title, publication date, volume, issue, page, URL, and retrieving
- Contact Information - Look for email address, phone number,
and mailing address.
- Links - Reputable Websites usually include links to other
sites for more information.
- Author or Organization Reputation: Look for information
about the author or organization or someone who is responsible for the content.
Search databases such asABI/INFORM (ProQuest) or Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
for more information about the author or organization.
- Personal Page: If it is a personal page be careful and
investigate the author very carefully.
- Read the "About Us" Section: Find out more about the organization
or author. Find their credentials, qualifications, biography, history or information
on other work.
- Metatags: Find out if the document is part of an official
academic or scholarly website. Put attention to the headers, footers, or distinctive
- Date: Check the last time the page was updated.
- Links: Dead links usually means that the page is outdated
- Charts, Graphics: Charts should include a date refelcting
when the information was gathered. Do not used undated statistical information.
- Frequency of Updated: Look for a notice indicating how
often the Website is being updated.
- “About Us” Section: Read about the organization's mission
to look for "bias"
- Personal Agenda: Read between the lines, make sure the
Website is not serving a personal agenda. Be careful with corporate Websites,
if you need an annual report, go to EDGAR,
a free government database. Public companies, foreign and domestic, are required
to file registration statements and periodic reports electronically through
- Advertising: Advertising on a Website indicates a potential
for biased information or an ulterior motive.
- Organization's Websites: Organizations covering a controversial
issue could be one-sided or biases. Look for organizational Websites that
present a fair and balanced view of both sides of an issue.
- Extent of Coverage: Analyze whether the Website covers
the whole issue or only an aspect of the issue.
- Cost: Is the site free, does it requires registration,
or is it fee based? Check with your librarian before paying, it is possible
that the library has already paid for the information or has access to similar
- Software: Some Websites required you to download software
that sometimes can be large, expensive or time consuming.
- Original Research: Some pages contribute valuable information
on the topic but some Websites only repeat information already available on
- Text-only: Good Websites indicate which browser is most
compatible and offered are a text-only version to facilitate search and navigation.
Please send questions and comments to email@example.com
1521 Harold B. Lee Library