There are times when it makes sense to search the web. Government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) publish reports and release data on the web. If you are studying a recent event or phenomenon, the web might be the most current source of information.
Evaluate the author and publisher
- Who wrote the page?
- Is the person qualified to write this page? Do they give their credentials?
- What are their institutional affiliations?
- Is the web site hosted by a reputable institution or organization? Check the “about” links if you aren’t sure who is publishing the page.
Evaluate the currency, accuracy, objectivity, and tone
- When was the page created/updated?
- Can you verify the accuracy of the information in another source?
- Is there a political or philosophical slant?
- Is the page really an advertisement or propaganda disguised as an information page?
- All information has a bias. Make sure this is the opinion you want.