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Biology: Find Reliable Websites

Evaluating websites

Asking these questions will help you to determine whether the resources you find are credible and reliable.

  1. If there are pop-ups, ads, or hints of bias (such as religious or political affiliation), stay away.

  2. Who created the page? Does the person or organization have the appropriate credentials?

  3. Why was this site created? What is the purpose of the site?  For example, is it sponsored by a company that has a financial interest in the topic?

  4. When was the page created and/or last updated? How current is the information?

  5. Does the author cite trustworthy sources? How does the author support their argument?

  6. How does this site compare to resources your professor recommends or assigns?

Recommended websites

Searching for good sites

If the resources here don't suit your needs, you can explore the internet using these methods to ensure reliable websites come up for you.  You'll still need to evaluate the sites using the rubric on this page.

  • Google search hacks: 
    • use quotation marks around phrases you specifically need to appear in results
    • if your search terms deliver results that make sense but aren't what you want, you can subtract what you don't want to see by using the hyphen.  For example, you can search for equine evolution -racing to weed out all the information about horse racing and the evolution of the sport from your results.
    • ask Google to deliver certain web domains, such as .edu sites.  Do this by entering your search phrase plus "site:" with whatever domain you want, such as .edu or .org.  Like this: equine evolution site:edu 
    • If you are looking for images, perform searches using the techniques above but then select the "images" option.  You can safely use images from most websites as long as you honor attribution, and cite the source.  If the website or image caption states that it's not ok to use the image without permission, do not use it.