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Texas Government - McCauley: Evaluating Websites

Resources and information relating to Texas government and politics.

Databases vs Internet

Take a look at the Texas State Library's Top Ten Reasons why you should choose the library's databases over the Internet for research. 

Is This a Reliable Source?

When searching for information on the Internet, it's important that you evaluate the source and the content for accuracy and credibility to make reasonably sure that it's from a reliable source. The following criteria will help you to know what to look for.

Authority & Accuracy

  • Is there an author or sponsor, such as a company or corporation?
  • What are the author's credentials? Do they have the necessary education or expertise?
  • Is there a link to information about the author or contact information? Don't confuse the author with the webmaster for the site. 
  • Domain extensions also help to identify a credible site.
    • .edu - academic institution
    • .gov - government website
    • .com - commercial site
    • .org - nonprofit organization
    • .net - network of computers

 Purpose & Content

  • What is the site's purpose?
  • Does the information appear biased or to express an opinion?
  • Is the content factual? Can you verify the information through other resources?
  • Does the content express unbiased facts or instead try to persuade the reader or sell a product?


  • When was the site last updated?
  • Is it well maintained? Do all links work?
  • Are all linked sites active and current?  
  • Does the content support the site's purpose? Is the information current?

Subject Guide

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Leif Pierson