Who? If the person writing the source is knowledgeable, the information is more likely to be correct.
- Does the source provide the (real, not pseudonymous) name of the author? If not, does it provide contact information for the organizational author?
- If there is a single author, does that person’s job, experience, or education make them qualified to talk about this topic? (Trust a lawyer to give you advice on your landlord/tenant dispute but not on how to best housetrain your dog). If this isn’t immediately apparent, can you find a link to an author bio or google the person’s name to uncover it?
What? If the information is in general agreement with other sources on the topic, it is more likely to be correct.
- If you compare the information in this source with other sources on the topic, particularly sources that you know are reliable, how well does it fit in? If the information or tone is radically different, it may not be trustworthy, especially if the credentials of its author are also questionable.
- Be suspicious of sources that only present one side of an argument or one way of approaching data.
- When was the source published? Has it been updated since it was first published? (If there's no date at the top, try scrolling down to the bottom of the page to see if there's a copyright of "last updated" date.)
- If it quotes sources, when were they published?
- If there's no other way to determine when the site was published, try following the links. Broken links often indicate a page that has not been kept up to date.