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SMER: Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences: Websites

Evaluating Websites

Remember, not everything found on the Internet is reliable. Anyone can put anything up on the Web. When you find information that you might consider using on a college paper or project, be sure to answer these questions to determine if the information is trustworthy:


  • Who published this website?
  • What are the author's credentials?
  • Does the author indicate his/her position or educational background?
  • Is the author a researcher in the field, a popular writer who has interest in the subject, or a total unkown who is stating his/her opinion on an issue about which he/she may not be knowledgeable?
  • Is there information about contacting the author? (E-mail address, phone number, etc.)
  • Is the author a respected corporation or government agency?
  • Does the author indicate the method of research used or provide any supportive evidence?
  • Check the "top level domain" in the URL (website address). Examples:
    • .com=commercial
    • .mil=military
    • .edu=educational
    • .net=network
    • .gov=government
    • .org=organization (non-profit)


  • Has the site been edited, verified or peer-reviewed by others?
  • Is it well-written and free of errors?
  • Are correct grammar and spelling used?
  • Are the author's sources cited?
  • Are statistics or data current?


  • Does the author's affiliation or the sponsors of the website influence the opinions or views presented?
  • Is the information fact or opinion?
  • Is there a cultural or religious bias?
  • Are there advertisements?
  • Is the author trying to manipulate your thinking with this information?


  • Is the information up-to-date?
  • When was the site produced?
  • How often is the site updated? Are the updates stated?
  • Do the links work?


  • Are all aspects of the subject covered?
  • What level of detail is provided?
  • Is the information limited to certain time periods?
  • What types of materials are covered?
  • To what audience is the material aimed? (Scholars, general readers, children, etc.)

Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences

Health Websites