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Research Tutorials

Assess Website Quality & Reliability

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Troubleshooting Guide

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How to Evaluate Websites

Here are five criteria to consider:


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  • Determine if the source is up to date
  • The publication date or date last updated should be displayed
  • Consult at least one or two other sources yourself



Icon of a magnifying glass taking a closer look at a website

  • The information presented on the website should be factual and accurate
  • Always question if the information was verified prior to being published
  • Consult at least one or two other sources yourself


  • icon of professor teaching classBe sure to see if the author's credentials are specified and if not, research that person (you can usually google them). The same should be done for a publisher of a website.
  • Ask yourself: Is this person an authority on this subject? If not, are they citing voices who have authority?
  • Is the publisher reputable?


Icon of an open book

  • Look at the scope of the site and what's included and see if other sites or sources have similar information
  • Ask yourself: If this site has more information than others, is it properly cited? If it has less information than others, is there a reason for that?



icon of three people talking

  • Ask yourself: Is the purpose of this site's information to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
  • In what context would this source be useful?


Google Search Tips

When you're searching in Google, you can limit your search results by specific domains, such as:

  • .edu (academic websites)
  • .gov (government websites)
  • .mil (military websites)
  • .org (non-profit websites)

How to do it: After your search terms just add a colon : and then the domain you want to see in the results (no space between the colon and the period). Websites from these domains tend to have reliable content -- but always use the evaluation techniques for any website!

Example search:

nanotechnology market

This search will only show .gov websites.

Sources used on this page

"Evaluating Websites." Library Learning and Resources, 5 March 2020, Prince George's Community College,

"Google Search Tips - Limit by Domain." Evaluating Websites, 24 May 2018, DVC Diablo Valley College,