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Local and Government Resources : Evaluating Web Sites BEFORE it's Too Late

Researching local issues requires different resources. Often this involves government agencies and local or national organizations.

Playing Detective


  • If you are suspicious about information you may want to "google" the author or the organization sponsoring the page. 


  •  If you really want to play detective look up the registration information in a "WhoIs."  There are a number of Who is look-up utilities. Better Who Is  or lets you see who has registered the domain on the Internet.  Not always informative but worth a quick check. 


Use Snopes to track down facts versus rumors & urban legends.

A Very Good Guide to Evaluation

Web Page Evaluation Checklist

• be suspicious

• think critically about every page you find

Interesting Web Sites

  RYT Hospital  Innovative therapies offered

 Lacuna  Offers cure for depression

 Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division

Which is the REAL World Trade Organization?   World Trade Organization  or World Trade Organization  

Evaluation of web sites

1.    Authority


    Is the author or organization responsible for the page clearly identified?

               This is where Wikipedia falls short


    Are the author's credentials on the subject stated?

           Look For: About us, Contact us or Google the sponsoring organization

2.    Accuracy


   Can unique information be verified in other sources?

        Think especially of  Wikipedia information


     Were established research standards used?

        "Studies show...." is not acceptable without specific sources or studies cited.

      Are references cited?

3.    Objectivity


     Are there advertisements on the site?  Do the advertisements have a direct relationship to the content of the site?

             One example is drugs or vitamins for sale or advertised on a health related web site

      Is the page or site promoting a particular viewpoint? An .org may use facts selectively to promote their viewpoint.

     Check the purpose of organizations such as FAIR   If you check About FAIR you will find that the     organization has adopted a very specific position and is not likely to present both sides of the immigration issue. 


        Are value statements made in absolutes (best, worst, 100%, etc.)? 

Is information withheld and only views or facts supporting the organization or sponsor viewpoint presented?