- Internet information is not regulated for quality or accuracy. It does not go through an editorial process the same way that traditional print sources go through.
- It is up to the individual Internet user to evaluate the information found there. Be very critical of any information you find on the Web and carefully examine each site.
When using the Internet for research, keep these things in mind.
- Is the author/creator named on the page?
- What do I know about the author?
- Are credentials like experience, education, affiliation, occupation listed?
- Is the author qualified to write on the given topic? Why?
- What does the domain name/URL reveal?
- Is the page sponsored by an organization?
- What is the purpose of the page?
- Is it intended to educate, explain, persuade, or sell a product?
- Who is the intended audience of the page?
- How can I determine the accuracy?
- Are sources for the information verifiable? Who is responsible for the information’s accuracy?
- Can the information be verified elsewhere? Is it free of typos and grammatical errors?
- Is the information reliable and credible? Why should you believe the information on this site?
- Is the institution providing the information well-known and respected?
- Does the information appear to be well-researched and valid?
- Can the information be verified through non-internet resources such as library databases?
- Is the information current?
- Is the content current enough for your topic?
- Is the web site kept up-to-date?
- Are you able to identify when the site was last updated?
- How can I judge the objectivity?
- Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda? How can you tell?
- Is the author objective or biased?
- What sources does the author cite to support their claims?
- Does the author have an affiliation with an organization? Does it affect the objectivity? Is the page sanctioned by an organization?