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Research Guides

See Ask Us for additional help options.

 

Evaluating Websites

What does the address (URL) tell you?

.gov = government e.g., loc.gov (Library of Congress) Generally reliable sites from federal or local government agencies.

.org = organization, often nonprofit e.g., unsystem.org (United Nations)

.edu = educational e.g., uky.edu (University of Kentucky) Often reliable, but can also be personal web pages from faculty and students, not from the educational organization.

.com = commercial e.g., amazon.com (Amazon Books) May exist strictly to sell services, but occasionally offer some useful information.

.net = network e.g., politicalresources.net (Political Resources on the Web) Often personal web pages.

.uk = country outside the US, for example, .eg (Egypt)

Questions to ask:

  • Is this a site designed for the web, or a document originally published somewhere else?
  • Who is the author or producer? Is it an individual or group? Is it a commercial group trying to sell services?
  • If the author isn’t clear, is there someone you can email for additional information?
  • What is the authority or expertise of the individual or group that created the site?
  • Is any sort of bias evident?
  • When was the page produced? Mounted on the Web?
  • When was it last updated? (HINT: if you're unable to find this information at the bottom of the page, look for dates within the site--if you can't find any date, you have no idea how recent the information provided might be)
  • Is contact information for the author or producer available?
  • Is grammar and spelling acceptable? Language?
  • Is the information well organized and easy to follow?
  • Is the source of any statistical information clear?
  • Is documentation to other sources provided for any of the information?
  • Do graphics enhance the content? Are they distracting or too "busy"?
  • Do the links work?
  • Are the links relevant and appropriate for the site?
  • Are the links comprehensive or do they just provide a sampler?
  • Are the links evaluated in any way?

 

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