While it is important to evaluate the usefulness and validity of all resources before you use them; this is especially true for web sites. Since there are very few restrictions about who can author a web site and the content he or she can post on it, evaluating the validity and worth of a web site falls to the viewer. When evaluating a web site, here are some things to consider:
These facets can be very difficult to evaluate. Sources can be unreliable for a variety of reasons. Some sites might be intentionally unreliable in order to promote a particular viewpoint or scam. Other sites may be unreliable unintentionally, trying to provide solid information but falling prey to common cognitive biases that effect us all if we're not being careful. So how can we tell the difference? There are some things we can look for:
If you need additional help in evaluating a web site's validity, contact the reference librarian at (252) 399-6502 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.