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Google Search Tip

Although you should primarily use library databases for your research, there are times when it may be more appropriate to use a document from the web. Because most information on the web has not gone through the extensive review process that books and journal articles do, it is important that you verify that the information you find has come from a reliable source. 

One way to do this is to only retrieve articles from U.S. government websites. You can do this by adding site:gov to the end of your Google search. 

Screenshot of Google search immunizations statistics site:gov

Evaluating Websites

Use the following evaluation questions to determine if websites are appropriate for college-level research.


  • Who is the author of this page?
  • Are the author's qualifications clearly stated?
  • Is the author separate from the "webmaster"?
  • Can the author be contacted for clarification?


  • What is the purpose of this site?
  • What topics are covered?
  • What goals/objectives does this resource meet?
  • What opinions are expressed?
  • What is the context in which the information is provided?


  • When was this site created?
  • When was it last updated?


  • Where did the writers obtain their information? Are citations included?
  • What institution published this? Are they reputable?
  • Where can I verify this information?


  • Why is this information useful?
  • Why is this page better than other pages on this topic?