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Social Sciences: Web Resources

Evaluating Websites

The Internet contains an abundance of information. So much information that it can be overwhelming. With all this information available it's important to be able to tell which websites are trustworthy. Below are some things you can look for when determining a site's trustworthiness.

  • Who is the author? What their credentials and are they qualified to discuss the subject?
  • How current is the information? On what date was the website last updated? Older information may no longer be accurate.
  • What is their point of view? What type of bias are they portraying? Every one has a bias/point of view but it's important to investigate both sides.
  • How accurate is the information? Can what is being presented by the author(s) be verified? Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors? This may require comparing other sources.
  • Who is the audience?
  • What domain is being used? Domains that contain '.gov' or '.edu' tend to be more reliable than those with '.com' or '.net.' This is not to say '.coms' or '.nets' are always unreliable.

If you are still unsure, PTC Libraries have a website evaluation worksheet that you can fill out to help you determine whether or not a website should be trusted.

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