Answered By: Jody Bailey
Last Updated: May 27, 2015     Views: 103

Hello,

As a librarian at UTA, I try to impart to students several guidelines about authority and validity of a website. First, among the common U.S. domains, I usually recommend .gov and .edu websites as being most trustworthy. They are least likely to be biased (since they do not accept advertisements) and most likely to have experts writing the information found on them. The next step down is .org; these websites often have highly valid, unbiased, and reliable information, for example, the American Heart Association. Other .org websites are not as trustworthy, so you must always look out for bias, or in some cases, outright propaganda. The least trustworthy sites are the .com ones since they are commercial sites that are trying to sell you something. Overall, you should be looking at the authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and coverage of a website when you are deciding whether it is trustworthy. 

Here is a link to a guide to evaluating websites that one of my colleagues put together that has more detailed information: http://libguides.uta.edu/evaluateweb