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Teagle Scholars' Library Guide Summer 2022: Searching and Evaluating Internet Sources

This guide offers guidance on searching and evaluating sources found through Odum Library and on the Internet.

Using Google and Google Scholar

You can use Google as well as other search engines to search the Internet for information on websites. Google Scholar will search specifically for scholarly materials such as journal articles, many of which you can access freely. 

Using the Search Operators listed below and focusing on the domains of websites can help you search more efficiently and evaluate the trustworthiness of sites you find. 

Google Search Operators

# Finds popular hashtags for popular topics. 
* Use an asterisk to represent unknown or wildcard terms. 

If you include a dash before a search term or site, it subtracts pages with those terms from your results. 


If you put a phrase or word in quotation marks,  the results will only include pages with the words in quotation marks. 


Get information about a web address, including the cached version of the page, similar pages, and pages that link to the site.

OR Link synonyms with OR. Your results page will contain either term. 
related: Find sites that are similar to a web address you already know.
site: Get results from certain sites or domains.

For more information about search operators, visit Google's page: Search Operators

Examples of Credible Online Websites

Evaluating Website Endings

Look at Domain Name

  • You can tell a lot about a website from the domain name like .org, .edu, .gov, or .com


General Guidelines for Credibility


Typically Most Credible: .edu and .gov

  • As a general guideline, you will want to find primary sources or information that come from websites that end with the .edu or .gov domain name. These websites will be generated by educational institutions or governmental institutions and are usually the most trustworthy. 


Requires More Investigation: .org

  • Websites that end with .org require a bit more evaluation to determine whether they are trustworthy. Anyone can create a website that ends with .org. 


Probably Avoid: .com

  • Websites that end with .com are business or commercial in purpose and may display more bias and be less trustworthy than the above examples.