Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Finding Reliable Sources: Criteria for Evaluating Reliability

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  • Does the content seem out-of-date?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?