Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Evaluating Websites

Understanding Internet Searches & Websites

Consider the following:

  • Anyone can build a website, experts and non-experts alike.
  • Some information may be outdated or even hazardous to the reader.
  • Web searches often retrieve more than 1,000,000 results, many of which are irrelevant to your research.
  • Website publishers may be biased and have an agenda, or may be trying to sell you something.
  • Since no one supervises the Internet, there's a lack of basic quality and usability standards.
  • Website information is not reviewed the same way as published works (books, scholarly articles, encyclopedias).
  • The Internet often functions as a place for people to share their unfiltered opinions. 
  • Scholarly sources are rarely available for free. The library subscribes to research databases that provide access to high-quality research at no cost to you.

Google Search Tip

 

You can limit your search results in Google to pages from a specific domain by adding site:.(domain name) to the end of your search. 

Example: diabetes and exercise site:.gov would find information on exercise on diabetes published only by government agencies. 

Domain Names

The domain of a website can tell you a lot about the purpose of the site. 

.com = commercial site

.net =network provider

.org =organization

.edu =education - school or university

.mil = military website

.gov = government website

.com, .net, and .org sites are less regulated, meaning anyone can register for a website with that domain. 

.edu, .mil, and .gov sites are more regulated, and tend to be more reliable.