See Ask Us for additional help options.
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?