Double-Check Your Sources
The internet offers the most convenient source of information but also the widest possible range of quality. There is no sure-fire way to make sure your sources, especially sources from the web, are correct, but following the instructions here will help you avoid hoaxes or other dubious sources.
Basics of Web Evaluation
In , Jim Kapoun proposed five key criteria.
Some things on the web have changed, but most of his rules are still good. Here is a summary of his suggestions:
How to Find a Date
On the web, as in the real world, a date can be hard to find.
If the date of publication is not readily visible, try these techniques, taken from Malik ():
Scan the page. The date may be present but not where you expect it. Look closely.
Look at the URL. Some web pages, especially blogs, will have the date of an article built into the URL, so look at your brower’s address bar.
Check the sitemap. Typically, a website has an XML sitemap located at [website URL]/sitemap.xml. This file may reveal dates when the pages were last modified.
Look at the source code. In most browsers, you can right-click on a webpage and select View page source to see the raw HTML. In the
<head>section, you may find metadata telling you when the page was published.
Use Google. Google’s date of indexing is usually close to the publication date.
Type inurl: into Google search, followed by the address of the webpage in question.
Once you get the search results, move your cursor to the end of the URL in your address bar and add &as_qdr=y15.
When you hit enter, Google should show you results with indexing dates.
Note: Many web pages have copyright dates in their footers. The copyright date is not a date of publication and may automatically update on a yearly basis.