What qualifications does this person or organisation have to discuss this topic? (Does the author have a university degree in the discipline? Is the author an amateur, or someone using the opportunity to express their own opinions?)
Does the URL indicate what type of organisation the information is coming from? (If an organisation is responsible for the pages, is the organisation widely recognised as a source of scholarly and reliable information, e.g. CSIRO for science topics.)
Has the author provided any evidence to back up their information?
Can the information and the references be verified elsewhere?
Is there any evidence the information has gone through a peer-review process?
What to look for on a webpage
Information about the author and the author's contact details – look for a link to a university or professional organisation.
Information about any organisation associated with the webpage – look for a link called "About Us" or something similar.
Links to other articles and publications by the person or organisation.
Is there a “Disclaimer statement” – this might indicate the website is a joke or a hoax?
If you can't find any information about the author on the webpage, do another search to see if it is possible to identify the credentials of the author and/or organisation.
What to look for in print material
Check the book cover for biographical information about the author.
Check within the source for a list of references, bibliography or footnotes.
Remember: If you cannot verify that the information is authoritative, it is best not to use it.
One way to get a quick idea of who is sponsoring or publishing a website is to understand the domain name portion of the URL.
Commercial businesses and for-profit
Educational institutions including primary
schools in many countries.
Organisations directly involved in Internet operations.
Miscellaneous organisations that don't fit any
other category, such as non-profit groups.
any government organisations.
Web pages created independently by
A two-letter international standard abbreviation
such as ".de" for Germany or ".uk" for the
The .ac refers to "academic" and is used
by United Kingdom universities.