You'll gather a great deal of information from organizations' websites, but it's important to critically evaluate them so that you're certain of their purpose, funding ties, and you've checked to see if they cite accurate, up-to-date evidence.
The following questions may help you determine an organization's purpose and perspective:
Remember, while these questions can help inform your understand of an organization, it's still up to you to determine if its work is relevant to your project.
Please consider these issues as you evaluate your books and articles.
Authority / Reliability / Credibility
If you’re trying to evaluate a website, keep these ABCs in mind as you review your sources for quality:
Authority - Is the website's author listed along with his/her credentials? Usually a URL with .edu, .org or.gov is more reliable than.com and .net
Bias - Is the website objective, presenting both sides of an issue? Or, is the information presented to sway the audience to a particular point of view? Who is the audience? A certain political group, adults, children, researchers? Depending on your purpose for using the website, the intended audience needs to be taken into consideration.
Currency - Is the website current, providing the 'created' date and 'last updated' information?
Note: One or more of the ABCs may be more important in evaluating a website, depending on the information you need. For example, medical and scientific information usually needs to be current. If you are trying to take a stand on an issue, a biased database may be acceptable as long as it is coming from a reliable source (authority).