Evaluating the Credibility of a website
When looking at information found on the Internet, it is important to evaluate the quality of the material that you find.
Key things to look at include:
- Who published the site? Scan the URL for clues, such as the domain, company (.com), an organization (.org), or a school or university (.edu).Check for personal names in the URL (jsmith for example). Personal pages may be fine, but the information has not usually been checked by anybody other than the page creator.
- Scanning the page, can you find links such as "About Us," or "Who I am?" You are checking to see if somebody (or an organization) claims "ownership" of the material on the page. Also, see if the author has posted his or her credentials (such as master's or doctoral degree, or employment with relevant organization). These may indicate their qualifications to write the material on the page.
- Currency of the page. You might find that some sites look good, but the last time they were updated was 1999! If you need current information, this is something to look for.
For detailed information, please see the following sites:
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