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Evaluating Websites

When you look at a site on the internet, there are several issues to keep in mind. If this information is not readily available on the website, it is best to be cautious about trusting the site.

Who writes the site? Are the author's credentials listed? What are the author's titles and affiliations? What is the author's expertise? Does the author have any published work on the same topic?

Who publishes the page? Is it on a commercial, university, organizational or government server?

What is the publisher's reputation? What is the purpose of the page? Is it to entertain, to persuade, to sell or to inform? Does the author and/or publisher have a bias? Does the group have a particular agenda?

What documentation is presented? Are there references listed? Is the information based on research or just opinions? Don't forget to ask these same questions about any research presented.

Is the information current? When was the page published? When was it last updated? Is it copyrighted?

Is the information consistent with other published information?