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STRT 1000: Evaluating Web Sources

A research guide for STRT, designed to be delivered during a synchronous Zoom instruction session with a librarian

Fact Checking

Process to Review a Source

Find the question you want to discover -  This would not be finding a specific fact about something, such as what year was this person born, Needs to be more layered - I want to compare this car with this other car.


Search the question keywords in a search engine - Google, Bing,, Duck, duck, Go... or the library search


Find an article or webpage that leads you toward answering your Discovery question.

  • Then review that article or webpage
  •  Author named? expert in, or journalist, or random person without expertise or reason for writing
  • Check the "About US" on the webpage, does this lean toward expertise or bias or explain why you should trust this source
  • Look for citations, in text (popular article) or at the end listed (scholarly source) or 1st person witnesses (primary source)  This would be the foundation of the research for this article or webpage.  Is it a solid foundation?  You would be building your research on this foundation, if you use this source.
  • Does the article have any in webpage or in article links?  Check them, are they valid in supporting this topic?


Open up new tab on your webpage - 

  • Start using your search engine to search for reviews on the author? 
  • Are there reviews on this organization attached to the article or webpage? 


Conducting Your Own Source Evaluation

Is this a trustworthy source or and accurate piece of information? How do I know?

Do I know the name of the organization or author behind this website or piece of information?

Have I conducted a search for more information about the organization or author publishing this website or piece of information?

Have I verified the background of the organization or author with outside sources?

If yes, what did these sources tell me? Do I know who funds the organization behind this site or information, who provides its funding, or what their mission is?

What sources did I use for verification? (Did I record the names of additional sites visited and the information I got from them?)

If I have found information on a particular person or organization on Wikipedia or a snippet in a Google search, have I opened other respected sources to verify the information?

Evaluating Web Sources

Visit these three websites and assess their credibility. 

1. Employment Policies Institute

Would you use the Employment Policies Institute in your college research paper?
Yes: 0 votes (0%)
No: 2 votes (100%)
Maybe: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 2
Would you use Food Babe as a source?
Yes: 0 votes (0%)
No: 2 votes (100%)
Maybe: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 2
Would you use this Nature article?
Yes: 0 votes (0%)
No: 0 votes (0%)
Maybe: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 0

STRT 1000 Information Literacy Assignment