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Tips to Evaluate Online Sources
- Who wrote the page? Can you verify the author's credentials?
- Is the author's contact information on the page? Does it actually work?
- What organization established the page? In other words, who established the website that this page is hosted on?
- The author's name or a copyright (©) should appear near the top or bottom of the page.
- Look for some form of contact information for the author.
- Look at the domain (.edu,.org, .gov) to verify the hosting organization's credentials.
- What is the purpose of the document? Why was it created?
- Who is the target audience?
- Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
- Look for an "About this site" type of link.
- Look for any information on the Author's credentials.
- Are there any links to sources? Citations?
- Is the organization that hosts the website credible?
- When was the information updated?
- When was it originally produced?
- How current are the links to other sites/information?
- Is the information out of date?
- Is there a date of publication at the top or bottom of the page?
- Are any of the links dead or re-directed to unrelated information?
- Is the author being balanced and fair in the treatment of the topic or is he/she biased or overly emotional?
- What, if any, opinions are expressed by the author?
- Try to identify any conflicts of interest. Are any advertisements clearly separate in subject from the author's topic?
- What facts does the author present? What facts are NOT presented?