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Evaluating web sites: Home

Searching Google

A good strategy for limiting your search results to reliable websites is to restrict your search by domain or site.

Poverty statistics site: gov

Poverty statistics site: edu

You can also try limiting it to site: org    But these results will probably be infuenced by the the organization's philosophy and mission.

Disreputable web sites

These web sites are intentionally deceptive. Their intent is to provide misinformation, to foster negative opinions, or to promote products or services.  Unfortunately, the misinformation is not always obvious.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Institute for Historical Review


Quick evaluation of web site

1.  Who is responsible for the website?  What are the credentials for those responsible?  Do they have the proper training and background to present reliable and accurate information?  Is there contact information.

2.  Has the web site been active for a number of years?   Has the website been updated recently?  Is the information current?

3.  What is the purpose of the website?  Is it to inform, persuade, sell, raise funds, amuse, etc ?

4.  Is the information on the website covered in depth or is it just an overview? 

5.  Is the information presented objectively or does it argue a specific point of view?

6.  And the most important point in evaluating a website is.....the relevance to what you need for your own research.

These questions are often called the CRAAP test.  Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose.

Helpful sites

Can you identify the fake web sites?

The following list has three "real" web sites.  The rest are fake.  These web sites are often humorous and/or clever,  making fun of actual web sites, or society, or politics. The misinformation is usually obvious.   The intent is to amuse, not to deceive.

Political & Social Bias

If you need to research a topic from differing political and social perspectives, then you'll need to know how to recognize the bias in magazines, newspapers, and websites/blogs.

These are general guidelines. Completely unbiased publications and websites do not exist.

Many thanks to Karen Dearing for creating this information

Evaluate this site

Is the Center for Security Policy biased?  Is their research accurate?

Subject Guide

Kristen West's picture
Kristen West
James E. Walker Library
615-904-8528 (office)

Internet Detective