True or False?

How I can tell if a website is credible

Information taken from The University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

There are six ways you can tell if your website is credible.

A website needs to have at least a few of the following qualities:

An Author
A Date
Listed Sources
A legitimate Domain name
A well designed site
Well written

Of course, there may be some reliable websites that do not include all these qualities. If you are not sure whether the site you’re using is credible,find another source you know to be reliable, such as an encyclopedia or a book on the subject. Remember that the kind of websites you use for research can also depend on the topic you are investigating.


Information on the internet with a listed author is a good sign you are on a credible site. The fact that the author is willing to stand behind the information presented (and in some cases, include his or her contact information) is a good indication that the information is reliable. Finding an author with listed credentials to their name, like Doctor, Master Engineer or Professor is also a good indicator that the website is legitimate.


The date of any research information is important, including information found on the Internet. By including a date, the website allows readers to make decisions about whether that information is recent enough to use. An article that is 15 years old may not have as much relevant information as an article that is only one year old.


Credible websites should cite the source of the information they share. Check to see where your article got its information. Did they just make it up? Did they get the information from a credible or scholarly resource? Or are they themselves a professional in the field they are discussing?


Some domains such as .com, .org, and .net can be used by anyone. However, the domain .edu is reserved for colleges and universities, while .gov means a government website. These two are usually credible sources for information. However, a university will sometimes assign a .edu address to its students for personal use, so be careful when citing. Be careful with the domain .org, because .org is usually used by non-profit organizations that may be trying to persuade you to their own point of view. Other legitimate sources can also include museum sites, well known newspapers and news outlets.

Site Design

This one can be hit or miss, but a well-designed site can sometimes mean more reliable information. Good design helps make information easy to access.

Writing Style

Poor spelling and grammar are a sign that the site may not be credible. In an effort to make the information presented easy to understand, credible sites watch how they write very closely.