When you are doing any kind of internet research you should also to research on your sources. If you keep a checklist of things to think about and determine as you are looking for information you can easily determine it if is credible. Credibility is necessary for any kind of citation in an academic paper.
- First, look at authority. Determine who is in charge of the website. Is is a legitimate business or organization? You can determine this by looking for contact information or a link to their page. From there you can verify their legitimacy. If you can not verify any of this information, you should not use the website as a source.
- Is the information accurate? You can determine accuracy in a few different ways. First look for cited sources. If there are good sources listed, the information you are getting is most likely god. Look for the qualifications of the author and how well the article is written. A well written page is more likely to be credible than one with spelling mistakes and grammar errors.
- Is there a bias? Look at the motivation behind the page. Is is an organization trying to sell their position on an issue? Are there are advertisements all over the page so the content is not the focus? If you see these things, you should not use this website as a source.
- Good old common sense. Your best tool for finding good sources on the internet is your own common sense. If you don’t think it is a good source, then it probably is not a good source. Move on to the next one and go from there. There is no reason to risk adding a source that is not credible when there is so much good information available.