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Anthropology: Find Websites

Anthropology Research Guide

Website Evaluation Tutorial

Quick Tips for Assessing Source Credibility

  • Identify who’s behind the information-Who is the author/creator and publisher/disseminator of the information? Check for and scan the About section on the site and any parent sites as well as for information on the author(s).
  • What do others think of them?-Google the author/disseminator! What do sources that you recognize in the results (such as Wikipedia) have to say about them in terms of credibility and purpose (where do they fall on the ideological spectrum, how long have they been around, follow the money trail, etc.)
  • Track down original source material-Is a specific survey, study or set of statistics mentioned? Try to track down the original and come to your own conclusions: do not rely on second-hand interpretations!
  • Listen to your intuition-Does something just not sit right about the source? (Wording too pat or generic, claims that seem exaggerated, etc.). Check Google to see what other resources have to say about the issue, claim, etc.

Recommended Websites

Physical Anthropology



Evaluating Websites for Use for Research Assignments

Introducing SIFT

SIFT is an easy-to-use four-step method of fact-checking information you find anywhere. Digital literacy expert Mike Caulfield has created a few short videos to explain how to best use SIFT.




Step 1: Stop!

Before you use a source. ask yourself:

Who's responsible for the information?

Who created and disseminated it? And do you recognize the source?

If so, do you trust it? If the answer is no or you're unsure, consider some of the following:

Step 2: Investigate the Source

What do others have to say about the source? (Hint: Try scanning the Wikipedia article on the source, if there is one) Look for surprises, particularly those that deviate from your initial impression! Take a look at the video (2:45) that covers how to fact-check efficiently and effectively by "reading vertically"

Step 3: Find Better Coverage

If you're unsure about a source especially if it is making a claim that you want to use or share, investigate if other sources that you trust more are also making the claim. The following video (4:10) covers strategies for finding better coverage of a claim:

Step 4: Trace Claims, Quotes and media to the Original Context

Context is critical when it comes to information claims. And information changes as it gets passed along and shared, sometimes unintentionally, sometimes deliberately. So, consider tracing the claim back to its original source and context. Take a look at the following video (1:33) that covers tips for "going upstream" and finding the original context:

Google Advanced Search

Quick Tip: If you are searching Google for a website with a specific domain, such as a .gov or .edu, when you type in your search add "site:" and the domain type at the end of your search term. For example, if you wanted to find government websites on gun control, type in "gun control". Or if you wanted to specifically search for non-profit websites that had information on wildlife, type in "wildlife".

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