What does the domain reveal about a website's true purpose? The domain is the primary web address for a site, usually composed of the last portion of the address, i.e. nasa.gov or nineplanets.org.
The first three sites below are all "IRS" sites, but only one actually represents the government agency.
Tip: WHOIS behind that domain? identifies the registered owner of a website.
|.gov||Government agency: www.irs.gov|
|.net||Network provider: www.irs.net|
|.com||Commercial site: www.irs.com|
|.edu||Higher education: www.indwes.edu|
|.mil||Military site: www.navy.mil|
|.org||Organization, may be charitable, religious or a lobbying group: www.unicef.org|
• What stated goals or objectives does this resource meet?
• Is its purpose commercial, educational, informative or personal?
• How detailed and factual is the information versus opinion-based?
• Is the information balanced or colored with a political, commercial, or
religious point of view?
• If a website, does the domain indicate what type of institution published it?
• Is the resource from a peer-reviewed journal or published by a scholarly or
• Is the author identifiable and someone other than a "webmaster"?
• Does the author/publisher list qualifications, and can they be verified?
• Does the author provide facual information verifiable in other resources?
• Is the information clear, legible, well organized and error-free?
• Does the author cite his/her sources? Are research methods explained?
• Is an editor, reviewer or collaborator named who verified content?
• Are topics in this resource analyzed in depth or just summarized?
• Does the resource cover all aspects of a topic or state the criteria for
• Does this work substantiate other sources or update other information?
• When was the resource produced and/or updated?
• If the resource is a website, are the links active and current?
• Is the resource referenced by other sources?
This guide was adapted from a resource available at Cornell University Library.