It is important to evaluate the quality of information provided by any resource that you use, but this is particularly so for websites. Since any person or organization can create a website, the user must take on the responsibility for determining the accuracy and relevance of the material on that site. This page serves as a guide to help you evaluate websites.
Use the ABC test to help you determine the credibility of a website.
Who is the author, publisher, source, or sponsor?
What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
MOST IMPORTANT: Lateral Reading
From Univ of Louisville Libraries Citizen Literacy Toolkit
What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, to teach, to sell, to entertain?
Do the authors or sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
Are multiple perspectives included?
What bias do you bring to the topic? Are you only looking for sources that confirm your current beliefs?
"The first step in countering confirmation bias is to recognize it in ourselves. Then we can guard against it by getting our news from a wide range of credible sources, reading opinion columns from a variety of viewpoints, and including these varied perspectives in our social media posts."
From the News Literacy Project - "Don't Let Confirmation Bias Narrow Your Perspective."
When was the information published or posted?
Has the information been revised or updated?
Does your topic require current or historical information?
Are the links functional? Do they take you to updated information sources?
Look at the web address for clues about the quality of the information. The last part of a website address is the domain suffix and can give you an idea about the quality of the site. Some common examples are .com, .org, .edu, and .gov.
Restricted top level domains (only qualified entities can use these domains):
Unrestricted top level domains (anyone, good or bad, can use these domains):