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While conducting research on the web, it is imperative to evaluate the website in question for authority, documentation, currency, and bias. Doing so will ensure that you are using the most credible information possible to support your thesis.
Authority and Accuracy
Who produced the site? Are they a credible source? What is the purpose of the site? Why was it created? Is the person, organization, or group qualified to write this content? What is the domain of the URL?
.com or.biz - a business or commercial website
.edu - an educational institution
.gov or .mil - a U.S. military or government website
.net - a personal website
.org - a website for a not-for-profit organization
Is there adequate documentation for factual statements? Is the documentation reliable, verifiable from a second source? Is there enough information to cite this information in a paper (author, title, source, date)?
Is the information up to date? When was it created, or last edited? Are the links up to date or dead? Is the author using outdated statistics?
Objectivity and Bias
Is the document biased or slanted? Are there few or no logical errors such as appeal to authority or circular reasoning? If you found this information a printed source, would you trust it?
Searching the Web
Searching the web takes skills in evaluation and research. Use the suggested credible websites below, or conduct your own research using the evaluation tips on the right.
The Brookings Institution is an American research group founded in 1916 on Think Tank Row in Washington, D.C. It conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development.
Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research.
USAFacts is a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s finances, and government’s impact on society. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive. We provide this information as a free public service and are committed to maintaining and expanding it in the future.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making.