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Michael, Librarian
Category: General
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Experience:  20+ years as information professional
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How can I tell if content on a website is reliable?

Customer Question

How can I tell if content on a website is reliable?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Michael replied 1 year ago.

Hi Yvonne,

I have had this question come up often while working at the various libraries I have worked over the years. Millions of websites and one can never be sure if the information provided is reliable. Here are some ways in which to see if something provided is information you can trust.

1. While any dot com can be produced by just about anybody, look at the part of the site "About our site" or "About us". This part of the particular site will explain who has put the website together, their goals and what they stand for. You can get a little bit about the group or person and see where they stand on a particular issue or item.

2. More trust can be given to a .gov as well as a .edu. The first is a government site that lists facts and statistics collected and the .edu comes from a college and/or university. Both will have information that has not been taken out of context.

3. Check reviews on a site and see if there is a pattern of negative ratings. While there will always be a few negative reviews of a site, see if a pattern shows as this may give you a hint that there is something wrong with the information provided.

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