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Student Farm Management (I&II) course guide

Use care when relying on websites

View information from the "free Web" with healthy skepticism. Try answering these questions to test the reliability of a website, or any source of information.

  • Who are the authors? Do they have any credentials in this field?
  • When was the last time the site was updated?
  • Do they cite sources for their information? Are these sources reliable?
From the UC Berkeley site listed below:
  1. Step back and think about all you have learned about the page. Listen to your gut reaction. Think about why the page was created, the intentions of its author(s). ...
  2. Be sensitive to the possibility that you are the victim of irony, spoof, fraud, or other falsehood.
  3. Ask yourself if the Web is truly the best place to find resources for the research you are doing.

If you have any doubts about the website, please feel free to contact your librarian!

Some sites with more extensive good advice about evaluating websites:

Evaluating info sources

Examine the source of your information - is it reliable, and current?

Tips for Evaluating Sources
from the publisher, Bedford/St. Martins. Includes webpages.

Evaluating Electronic Information Sources (PDF)
from Purdue Univ. Writing Center

A Word about Wikipedia

Wikipedia is extensive and often extremely current.

But because anyone can edit Wikipedia pages, they are not reliable as cited references in your assignments.

Wikipedia can be a place to start. Then use their citations to find more legitimate sources.

See what Wikipedia itself says about Researching with Wikipedia.

© 2016 University of Massachusetts Amherst.