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Communication Studies: Relevant Websites

The following are selected websites which could be potentially be useful in your research. While more likely reputable, you will still need to evaluate each source individually. On the next page, Resources for Media Literacy, find tips for evaluating information that you find on the open web.

Evaluating Internet Resources

When using Internet resources, you must carefully evaluate the source of your information before utilizing its content. Evaluate your websites using the following criteria: 

Domain - the quality of information and the type of URL are interrelated. A ".gov" or ".edu" URL is more trustworthy than a ".com" or ".net". A ".org" URL will require deeper investigation, as it then depends on the type of organization. 

Authority - Is the author's name visible? What are the author's credentials? Is contact information for the author available?

Currency - Is the website up to date? Websites with information that is updated regularly are preferable to those that are left out-of-date or recycled too often. 

Bias - Since anyone can create informational content online, the Internet is often used as a sounding board for thoughts and opinions. Look out for a works cited list and advertisements to evaluate the bias and possible inaccuracies in the information. 

Origin - How did you find this source? Was it recommended by a faculty member, cited in a scholarly journal article, or was it linked by another trustworthy website? Where you got this information can indicate how reliable it might be. 

Functionality - If the website contains broken links, is difficult to navigate and malfunctions often, then it reflects poorly on the credibility of the information.