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Reliability Criteria for Websites and Blogs
The books and articles you find in GIL, the library catalog, or in a UGA Library database have been through a review process by scholarly or professional peers/editors. This process makes them much more likely to be reliable, fact-checked sources. Sources on the internet may or may not go through any fact-checking or editorial process. You must determine reliability yourself.
Who is the author and are they credible?
- Does the source have an author (either a person or an organization) or is it written anonymously?
- If the author is an organization, can you find other reputable sources that treat it as a reliable entity?
- Does the organization provide a description of their mission and purpose?
- Do they list staff and board members, and their relevant credentials?
- If the author is a person, do they present verifiable credentials? (professor at a university? researcher in a think tank? well-known practitioner?)
- Have they published their work in reputable journals or magazines that you can find in UGA Library databases?
- Have other authors written about this author's work in reputable books or journals?
- Are they affiliated with reputable organizations that have been mentioned in books or articles found in UGA Library databases?
Is the content substantial and supported by evidence?
- Does the source go into reasonable depth? Are there so many ads on the page that they overwhelm the content?
- Are facts and statistics footnoted where necessary?
- Are their footnoted sources reliable?
- Is the site trying to sell you something? (Not necessarily bad, but be wary!)
- If they advocate position, do they provide evidence to support it?
How current is the info?
- Does the content seem out-of-date?
- When was the webpage last updated?
- Are sources cited also current?
- Are its links "live" or broken?