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Evaluating Websites: Currency & Credibility

Learn how to determine whether or not a web site is reliable.


The issue of currency is important when evaluating factual information, since new research and information is constantly emerging.

Note the date the website was created and updated, as the accuracy of the information contained in it may change with time. However:

Even though a page was recently updated, the information on the page may not be up-to-date. Look for clues that might help you date the information.

Keep in mind that, for some types of information, currency is not an issue. For example, an article on current medical research or case law is more time-sensitive than how to hard-boil an egg.


Determining the credibility of a source takes a critical eye. 

Look for an "About this Site" link to learn more about the individual, organization, agency, or corporation hosting the site.

Look for an "About the Author" link. What are the author's credentials? Check a library database to see if the author has published books or articles in scholarly journals.

Examine the URL. Is there a tilde (~) in part of the URL? This implies that a web page is a personal page, even if it's linked to a larger institution. It may not be held to the same standards as the institution's pages, or reflect the institution's views.