Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sources... real or fake?

How do you really determine if a source is credible, valid, or scholarly?

First, you should always look at the URL. The address will have a tell-tale ending. Here is an excerpt from a great site ( that explains it best:

What does the URL (Web address) say about the producer of the web site, and its purpose? Look at the final syllable in the domain name. The first three sites below are all "White House" sites. Which is the official White House site? How can you tell? Note that all three sites are easily accessible in a web search for 'White House'.
  1. .gov
    Government agency:
  2. .net
    Internet Service Provider:
  3. .com
    Commercial site
  4. .edu
    Higher education - Other educational sites may appear with different domain names:
  5. .mil
    Military site-
  6. ~
    ("tilde") Personal site -
  7. .org
    Organization; may be charitable, religious, or a lobbying group -
Second, you need to read the site and see if it targets the correct audience, is published by a credible organization, is objective, and is current. All of these rules are described in the links below.

Some links about website evaluation:

Remember this is a research paper. It requires the "so what?" factor. You have to prove and analyze a point within your paper.

The question is, have you ever seen sites that claim validity only to find out that they were a hoax, satirical, or trying to get you to signup/ buy something?

Check out this site.... valid or not?


ColeT3 said...

i would not trust anyone whose name is Dr. Juatta Lyon Fueul. They might have a PHD, but he or she (the name kinda makes me question) really has no idea what they are talking about. Normally if you look at the URL, and it is not some bogus thing with text that takes up the entire address line than it is usually valid.

willh6 said...

Yea it seems valid to me. It says that the information comes from some college, and it is written by a doctor.

MaxT6 said...

Well if you werent an idiot, it is pretty easy to read the disclaimer at the bottom where the site's author says that the web site is bogus. also where the heck is University of Santa Anita... come on Mrs. C

joannel1 said...

are college sites vaild? One of my sites is a college website and it's an essay from a student. The essay is really good and won a big award at the school. It seems creditable to be and i wouldn't think she would win an award if you wasn't.

sallyc1 said...

This site does not seem valid to me because if you read down to the bottom of the page, you see that it says some of the facts are humorous or bogus. However, there is no .com which you said meant a site was not valid and there are many documentations that prove the writer has done a lot of research.

DorieF5 said...

I don't think this site is valid. any person can just make a website and say that they are a doctor or from some college, there's no way that it is valid. I mean I can freaking make some thing like that, but I don't know that's just my opinion. but if it is valid then its a pretty crappy site, no lie! they need to do something with it! haha, see you tomorrow bcal!

AshtonH1 said...

I don't think the site is a credible reference for research paper. I would not base any of the information in any form of research on that source. Although the creator the website has a doctorate, he/she may not be a specialist in the AIDS field. I would only use that site as a way to learn about facts regarding the Center for Disease control.

GriffB5 said...

This site is fake. Any site that you would put up for us to determine if it was fake or not would definatly be fake.

Leeb3 said...

I think this is a valid source because the guy who is on the site looks creditable. He is from a college. He is also a doctor, so this is a real source.

Rachaelw5 said...

I would say that this is not a valid site. The bottom of the page says that some of the information is bogus. The URL doesn't end in anything crazy, so that might be misleading.

SamM5 said...

I dont think this is a valid site. that business about mark twains birthday makes it hard to believe that this is a credible source. after all, anyone can claim they are a doctor.

VirginiaB5 said...

I do not believe that this cite is a all valid. At the bottom of the page it says that the information is bogus. By reading that you would think that this would not be a valid cite.

strick said...

1) The site is valid in the fact that it is a webpage. (Technically a file on a server, hence the IP address instead of a site name with a (.com/.gov/.edu/etc.) The important thing is that the INFO on this site is not valid. It says such at the bottom of the page.

2) Mark Twain's birthday. It has nothing to do with the validity of the site. It is merely there to tell you when the site was last updated.

3) The University that it came from. a) look at the name. It was picked to spell USA if you look at the initials. b) If you look it up on the web and find a valid .edu site, it may be a legitimate University, if not and it is .com or any other .(something) it isn't a real school.

3) The Doctor's name. The name doesn't matter as much as if you can find some information on the doctor on the web or using some other source. For all we know, it was a professor that set up this website (meaning a real professor). Whether the person is a doctor or not has no bearing on if the information is real or not

that being said...

4) LOOK UP THE SOURCES!!!! that is the easiest way to tell if the information is bogus!! NO REAL SOURCES, NO REAL INFORMATION!!!!