This is the "Identify & Evaluate" page of the "Research Process" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Research Process  

This guide focuses on the skills and resources needed to complete a research project.
Last Updated: Sep 4, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Identify & Evaluate Print Page

What kind of website is it?

One way to to help you evaluate your website is to determine the type of website you have found. Look at the URL. What does it say?

.com = commercial site
.edu = educational site
.gov = U.S. government site
.org = non-profit organization site (usually, but not always)
.mil = U.S. military sites and agencies
.net = networks/Internet Service Providers

Putting it all together

Before using information found on a web page for your research project, consider the following criteria to evaluate its credibility. 

You may have a higher quality Web page that could be of value to your research:

  • Accuracy
    If your page lists the author and institution that published the page and provides a way of contacting him/her and . . .
  • Authority
    If your page lists the author credentials and its domain is preferred (.edu, .gov, .org, or .net), and, . .
  • Objectivity
    If your page provides accurate information with limited advertising and it is objective in presenting the information, and . . .
  • Currency
    If your page is current and updated regularly (as stated on the page) and the links (if any) are also up-to-date, and . . .
  • Coverage
    If you can view the information properly--not limited to fees, browser technology, or software requirement.


Is It Legit?


Internet Research: What's Credible?


Why Can't I Just Google?


Your Turn!

Check out this website:

Save The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus!

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

Would you cite this as a legitimate source for your paper? It may look like the information is accurate, but is it? Is it a clever (or malicious) hoax? Check it for accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, and coverage. Does it still hold up? Would you cite it in your paper? Would you give this charity money? (I wouldn't. Octopuses don't have any pockets!)

Remember, even though this is a funny (and harmless) website, false information abounds on the internet. Check your sources!


Loading  Loading...