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Information Found on Internet Websites
How to Identify Reliable information

Website Evaluation

You need to answer just three questions before using any information found on websites using search engines, such as Google or Bing.

1.     Is the author or organization an expert on the topic?

Look for an ABOUT or HOME link on the page, which should help you learn about the author or organization. It is okay to use information from REPUTABLE organizations like NASA, or USGS, even if there is not a person's name given as the author.

If you can trust the information because it comes from experts, the web site is AUTHORITATIVE.

Be a detective and look for evidence that the information you found is AUTHORITATIVE.

2.     Is the web page a hoax or a joke, or is it designed only to sell something?

A hoax is intended to deceive or to trick you.

A web site designed only to sell something may not give you ALL the facts.

Sometimes a web site may not be what it appears to be. It may take some detective work to determine if a web site has good information for your research!

Be a detective and discover what motivation the author has for placing information online.

3.     Is the information current enough?

Look for a date on the web page for when the information was updated. This is usually at the bottom of the page. You need up-to-date information within the context of your topic. Here are a few examples to help you decide:

Pluto: On August 24, 2006, scientists voted to redefine the word "planet" so that Pluto no longer qualified as a true planet. If a web site about Pluto has not been updated since then, the information will not be accurate.

Abraham Lincoln: Even though historians are still learning details of his life, web sites that have not been updated in several years will probably have accurate information.

Medicine or Science: There are new discoveries in these fields all the time, so the more recently the web site was updated, the better.

Try clicking on the links below.  They are arranged by topic and include some of the subjects we study at Gillette.

General ReferenceTeacher Resources
American HistoryAncient History: Egypt
Ancient History: GreeceMiddle Ages
ScienceWorld History




Gillette Road Middle School Library Media Center
North Syracuse Central School District
6150 South Bay Road
Cicero, NY 13039