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PLUG-INs A Student’s Guide to Information Literacy . QUESTIONS ABOUT WEBSITES. Websites from the Internet can be fast and easy to use. But, how do you know if the information is good, accurate and reliable ?. How do you know if the information is rubbish?.

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PLUG-INs A Student’s Guide to Information Literacy

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PLUG-INs A Student’s Guide to Information Literacy



Websites from the Internet can be fast and easy to use.

But, how do you know if the information is good, accurate and reliable ?

How do you know if the information is rubbish?

Anybody can create a website and post any information he or she chooses.

So, you must

be careful and think critically about the websites you find.

Here are some questions at ask yourself.

First, who runs or owns the site ?

The name

of an organization

might be misleading.

Maybe it looks like an educational site. But, really it is an online store.

It might be

a person,

a company or an organization.

For example,

you find a site called

“The Truth About the Earth” run by “Scientists for Earth Study.”

But when you read, the writers say the Earth is flat.


this site is a joke.

Or, maybe it is written by unscientific, crazy people.

Next, ask yourself, who pays for the site?

Look for “About Us”

or “About this site.”

It may be a company or business, a college or a government organization.

Look at the URL suffix. This can tell you something about who runs and pays for a site.


means the site is commercial or owned by a company.


means that site is run by an educational institution.


means the site is run by the government


means the site

is run by an organization, sometimes non-profit but not always.


means the site is part of a commercial network.


means the site

is from the UAE.

There are many

2-letter country codes. They are called ccTLD.

You can know what country a website is from.

Next ask yourself, what is the purpose

of the site ?

Is it only

to give information

or to sell something ?

Is the site “honest” about the purpose or does it try to trick you ?

Are there advertisements or sponsored links ?


are not always bad. Somebody has to pay for a website even if the purpose is educational.

Is it clear

what is an advertisement

and what is content?

Are there links to

other sites?

Are the links online stores?

Are the links to references, citations or sources of the information ?

This is a feature of

a good site.

Where does the info come from ?

Is it based on scientific research? Is it from a university or government agency?

Or, is the info based on personal opinion only ?

Are the authors experts in the subject or people with no special training or education?

Look to see if the authors have educational degrees, professional memberships and certifications.

Is the information biased or prejudiced ?

Does the language seem emotional, not logical ?

Are there unbelievable claims ?

Is there only 1 side of the story ?

Are there links, references or citations for facts and figures ?

Or, did the author invent them ?

Can you check the information ?

Is the information reviewed by experts before posting ?

What is the date of the page ?

How often is the page updated?

How current or new is the info ?

If you see no date on the page, maybe the page is not a good one.

Lastly, does the site collect info about the users ?

What is their “Privacy Policy ?”

What will they do with your personal information ? Will they sell it to marketers ?

Do you need

to register or

sign up to see information ?

There are

so many questions to ask yourself about websites.

But, it is important to take time to do this.

Otherwise, you may waste your time if information from a website is rubbish.

I hope this helps you understand how to tell a good website from a bad website.

Ask your

teacher or your friendly librarian if you have any questions.

Thank you for listening.


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