Internet users frequently rely on the World Wide Web for doing research because it contains large amounts of quality resources.
Misinformation on the Web is a problem because anyone can publish on it. Since the lack of quality control exists, it requires Internet users to filter information for quality Web sites. For example, books, journals, magazines, and newspapers, editors are used to edit and screen information before it is published.
While librarians can help users to filter misinformation, it is important for users to be able to discern when information is factual rather than opinion and other gray areas of information. Identifying the types of Web site categories can help in selecting the appropriate kind of sources and give credibility to a paper. Knowing how to identify a few categories will be invaluable for your research.
Informational sites provide factual information such as reference sources, libraries, statistics, and events. These sites are frequently published by educational institutions or governmental bodies. These sites usually have edu or gov as their domains.
News sites primarily provide current information. Using news sources is a way of keeping abreast of some ongoing events hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. Most of these sites have a com domain but can also have an org domain.
Advocacy sites are published by organizations to influence public opinion. Most of the organizations that publish these sites are non-profit. These types of sites usually have an org domain.
Counterfeit sites try to disguise themselves as the authentic site. The purpose is to disseminate wrong information in many instances. Some can be developed for humor and others for bias. These sites will have any domain.
The following websites can help you recognize different types of websites: