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Research Skills: Evaluating Websites

Basic research skills such as finding books, journal articles, working with databases, citing your sources, and more.

How to evaluate websites

Everyone can create a website and put it on the Internet. Not all information is reliable.

Use the following criteria to evaluate websites:

Accuracy - Look for e-mail, contact address and phone numbers. You want to find out if the author is qualified to write the web page.
Authority -  Look for the URL domain. Is the author affiliated with an educational institution (edu), a government agency (gov), an organization (org), or a commercial site (com)? Do the authors/publishers list their qualifications?
Objectivity - Are the goals and aims of the website clearly stated? Is the group/person/organization legitimate? Ask yourself why the page was written and for whom.
Currency - Check for dead links and outdated information. If you see a date listed, it may be the date of posting or the date of revision.
Coverage - Do you need specialized software to access the information? Are you required to pay a fee to access the information?
For more information link to this University Guide.

How to GOOGLE more efficiently

Hack College has a great infographic on how to use Google more efficiently.