URL Reliability/Accuracy

Judging the reliability and accuracy of anything on the Internet is a difficult task. There are no standards for what is placed on the web. So let the user beware!

A general standard of URLs is that anything ending in '.com' is not very reliable because it is placed on the web for 'commercial' purposes. In the past, URL's ending in '.edu' and '.org' were thought to be more accurate because they were placed there for 'educational' purposes and by 'organizations.' However, not all 'educational purposes' and 'organizations' have your best intent in mind when they place things on the web.

Consider the following URL which came up during a search for Florida Sink Holes: http://www.lightparty.com/Spirituality/BeleifInventFuture.html. How do you know if it is a reliable site for your subject matter? It does contain the ending '.com' which should alert you for one thing. Another way to learn more about the information is to paste the web site address: www.lightparty.com/Spirituality/BeleifInventFuture.html into the search box of the search engine Google (http://www.google.com) and click on the search button. You will find the following information appearing on your screen:

"YOUR BELIEF IS INVENTING THE FUTURE! ... What you are is Gods gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God! Namaste and Blessings from Quantum@magicnet.net. ...

Google can show you the following information for this URL:

By clicking on these subpoints, especially "Find web pages that link to÷" you will find that this URL is a "New Age Religious" centered site which really has nothing to do with the topic that you are researching.

This technique of checking a URL shown above is called 'cross linking.' You find out what other information is connected to the URL and thus learn a bit more about its accuracy. Always check URL information out with your teacher or parent!


Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

Author(s): David Tillay (vhsdtillay@hotmail.com)
School: Vallejo High School, Vallejo, Ca.
Created: February 15, 2001 - Updated: December 28, 2002
URL: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/lincon/w01/projects/survivor/reliability.html