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It is essential that you evaluate all websites that you want to use in academic research. Use the chart to the right to help you determine if a website is credible.
Who is the author? What are the author's credentials? Does the author have expertise in the area? Is the author associated with a reputable organization?
Is the information balanced? Is it more opinion than fact? Is the page a presentation of facts or designed to sway opinion? Is a product, service, or idea being sold?
When was the page last updated? Are any links dead? Is the information consistent with your knowledge in the subject?
Is information documented with references? Are the facts given supported with evidence? If statistics are provided, what is the source? Is the page free of spelling mistakes or other obvious mistakes?
This chart will help you walk through the evaluation. It helps you look for certain things for each letter, tells you why you should evaluate, and what you should look for when evaluating.