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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.

UC Berkley Search Tutorial

This online tutorial presents the substance of the web searching workshops formerly offered by the UC Berkeley Library.

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