Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is the one you will use?
Who is the author/publisher/source?
What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
What does the URL extension reveal about the author or source? (.com, .edu, .gov, .org, .net, .mli, .jobs, .biz)
Does the author cite their sources?
Is the information supported by evidence?
Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
Do the authors/sponsors make their intention or purpose clear?
Is the information Fact? Opinion? Propaganda?
Adapted from a handout developed by librarians at Meriam Library, California State University, Chico, 2004
Questions to ask
Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not to use a website. These questions will help you pick better sources for your topic.
Adapted from Oviatt Library, CSU Northridge http://library.csun.edu/blogs/cited/tag/research-therapy/page/2
Domain names of Web Sites
So what do all those domain names mean?
.com--Originally used for commercial entities, it is now the most common domain name. Anyone can register for a .com domain name.
.org--Intended for non-profit organizations; however, any person or entity can register for one.
.net--Any person or entity can register for this domain.
.edu--Limited to specific educational institutions. It is used almost exclusively by American colleges and universities. Note: some institutions that do not meet the current registration criteria have been grandfathered in.
.gov--This domain is limited to government agencies in the US