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Assess Website Quality & Reliability: Home

Outlines five criteria for assessing the quality and reliability of websites.

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How to Evaluate Websites

Here are five criteria to consider:

Currency

  • 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

 

Accuracy

  • 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

Authority

  • Be 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?

Coverage

  • 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?

 

Objectivity

  • 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 site:.gov

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, https://pgcc.libguides.com/c.php?g=60038&p=385689

"Google Search Tips - Limit by Domain." Evaluating Websites, 24 May 2018, DVC Diablo Valley College, https://dvc.libguides.com/evaluating_websites