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Biology: Web Resources

How do I know if a website is credible?

Use this checklist to help you evaluate the credibility of websites as research sources.

Resource Types

Domain Suffixes

The domain suffix of a website (the postscript at the end of a web address) can be a good indicator of the the website's authority and accuracy.

  • .com Commercial Site
  • .gov Government Agency
  • .edu Higher Education
  • .org Organization. May be charitable, religious, or a lobbying group.
  • .mil Military
  • .net Internet Service Provider
As you conduct your research, you may find external website sources providing additional information, research or commentary. As with any external source, please fully evaluate and verify against assignment resource parameters. If you have questions on selection of a resource, please feel free to connect with the course professor for review.

Library vs. Google

Web Resources

American Society of Mammalogists: Image Library

"A web site for information about mammals and the American Society of Mammalogists."

Center for Disease and Control

"The nation’s leading science-based, data-driven, service organization that protects the public’s health."

Encyclopedia of Life

A website that works with "open access biodiversity knowledge providers around the world, including museums and libraries, universities and research centers, individual scientists, graduate students and citizen science communities, and a suite of international open data hubs."

"Searches over 60 databases and over 2,200 scientific websites to provide users with access to more than 200 million pages of authoritative federal science information including research and development results."

USDA: Agricultural Online Access (AGRICOLA)

"A database produced by the National Agricultural Library (NAL), contains over 6 million records encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied discipline."

USDA: The PLANTS Database

"Provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories."

USDE: Biological and Environmental Research (BER)

This project "supports scientific research and facilities to achieve a predictive understanding of complex biological, earth, and environmental systems with the aim of advancing the nation’s energy and infrastructure security."

USFWS: Endangered Species

This website "provides national leadership in the recovery and conservation of our nation's imperiled plant and animal species, working with experts in the scientific community to identify species on the verge of extinction and to build the road to recovery to bring them back."