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Website Evaluation: Home

Here are resources to help you check the reliability of websites you have found on the free web.

WEBSITE EVALUATION TOOLS AND RESOURCES

What happens when you don't check your facts?

How to Know If a Site is Reliable?

Urban Legends: True or False?

Beware Fake News Sites!

Examples of Great Brand Journalism

Brands and companies often publish their own content and communicate directly with customers. Should these websites be used for research purposes?

It is totally up to you to establish the validity, authorship, timeliness and integrity of what you find on the Internet.

SIFT: Is your source credible?

SIFT to Evaluate a Website

STOP and ask yourself...

  • Do you recognize the information source?
  • Do you know anything about the website or its reputation?
  • Based on prior knowledge, does the information make sense?

INVESTIGATE by digging into the source

  • Where is the information coming from?
  • What are the author's credentials (education, affiliation, experience, etc.)?
  • Is the information balanced or biased?
  • What is the intent of the website (to persuade, to sell, to entertain, or to educate)?
  • Is the source worth your time?
  • Look at what others have said about the source to help answer these questions.

FIND trusted coverage

  • What claims are being made?
  • Is there a consensus across sources?

TRACE claims, quotes, etc. back to the original context

  • What was the original context?

Find a Website's Publisher

Strategies for Finding the Publisher of a Website

Examine the domain name

  • Often, the publisher of a website is identified in the URL (web address)
    http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/mountain-lion/

Look for an "About Us" Button or Link

  • Reputable websites provide contact information, including the name of the sponsoring organization

Check the bottom of the page

  • The name of the website publisher is usually shown to the right of the © sign at the bottom of the page

Use WHOIS

  • One of the easiest ways to find the owner or publisher of a website is to go to WHOIS and search for the domain name. In the returned data, the "registrant" is the person who owns the site.

Rate My Source

Use Rate My Source
to check the reliability of any website.

Which of these websites is NOT a hoax?

What is the PURPOSE of these websites?

Is the author an authority on the subject?

Are these websites good, bad or just plain ugly?