Ask yourself these questions when evaluating whether a website should be used for your research:
Accuracy of the Website
- Is the information objective?
- Is the information on the website true? (Can you find the same information in several other sources?)
- Is the information supported by evidence?
Authority of the Website
- What can the URL tell you (.com, .org, .gov, .edu)?
- Is the creator part of or endorsed by a reputable organization?
- Are the author’s credentials or educational background listed?
Currency of the Information
- When was it produced?
- When was the last update?
- Are the links functional?
Relevance of the Website
- Does this information answer your research question?
- Who is the attended audience?
- Would you feel comfortable citing this for a research paper?
Purpose of the Website
- Is the website trying to sell you something?
- Are there political, ideological, or religious biases?
- Does the creator make their purpose clear?
University of California, Berkeley provides a more detailed look at evaluating resources of any type. Websites require very careful evaluation.
Remember that Internet searches only search a very small percentage of available digital resources. They do not search library databases that have been compiled specifically for research and selected by the OCC Library especially for our courses.