I would advise clients to look at the website extension, its domain. Website reliability can be determined by this extension, this domain name. For example, reliable domain names, extensions, include .edu – which indicates an educational institution or a school; .gov - a government site; and .mil - a military site. Generally used extensions that may or may not be reliable include .org, .com, and .net. For example, Wikipedia.org and AskAbout.com are not reliable sources of information. It is important when considering information from such sites clients use critical thinking and follow up getting information by calling or going to the nearest office. Clients must be prudent and “if it is too good to be true” then it isn’t.
and even go so far as checking with the Better Business Bureau to determine
. Further investigation is needed to determine the reliability of websites with these extensions.
.org: a noncommercial site that is used for nonprofit organizations, foundations, cultural institutions, and other organizations that perform charitable work
.com: a site that is for business and commercial organizations and probably should not be used for academic research.
.net: a site that is usually reserved for network providers and probably should not be used for academic research.
Other less common extensions also exist, with varying degrees of reliability.
Ms. Swales and Class,
I would advise clients who are surfing the internet for information to pay attention to who is the author, is the author, whether it be individuals or an organization, clearly identified? Make sure the author(s) background and credentials are provided as these can be cross-referenced to determine credibility. If an author is not listed, then carefully checkout the organization publishing the information, take nothing at face-value. Too, pay attention to the date the information was published. A reliable website regularly maintains and updates its site and information. A...