Regardless of where you find information (website, social media, newspaper, etc.) the criteria for reliablity is the same:
Is your source authoritative on this topic? (i.e. question authority)
- Is there an author or sponsoring organization? Credible sources will identify themselves.
- Does the person or organization present credentials or other proof of expertise that is relevant to the subject?
- Can you verify the information provided about the author or organization through outside sources such as a journal article, newspaper article or reputable website? Use the Multi-Search box on the library homepage to verify. Multi-Search is preferable to Google for verification, since it doesn't contain fake sources that could mislead you.
- Is the author/organization qualified to speak on the topic?
- Does the URL domain name look dubious? Can you tell what organization, institution or company hosts the site?
- Do other webpages link to this website and are those webpages reliable?
Is the information reliable and substantial?
- Does the site contain useful research-based information, or only opinions?
- Does the research go into significant depth?
- Are facts or statements footnoted where necessary?
- Can you verify the footnotes and corroborate facts or statistics using a reputable source?
- Is the information unbiased or does it take a particular position?
- If a position is taken, is it advocated in a rational, reasonable manner, providing supporting, verifiable evidence?
- Is supporting evidence used in an accurate, unbiased manner?
- Does the site use manipulative techniques to influence readers? If so, what are they?
- Does the site link to other reliable, reputable sources of information?
- If it does link to reliable sources, is it using these sources in a fair and reliable manner?
- Can you discern the purpose of the site or webpage?
Are the links and information current?
- When was the site last updated?
- Are all the pages on the website up to date?
- Does the information appear to be current?
- Are all the links 'live'? Have some of the links moved to a new URL?