As repeated below, not all Websites are created equal! The Websites in the column on the right have been vetted and approved for use in scholarly research. How do you know if a Website is credible and authoritative? Take a look at the criteria listed in the column on the left. If in doubt, always make sure to ask your professor or a librarian if the site is suitable for your research purposes. It's okay if a Website has a slight bias or slant as long as you know that and factor it in to your evaluation. Two good sources for looking at all sides and media bias ratings are listed below,
Media Bias Ratings are determined using multiple methods and represent the average judgment of Americans. They are based on blind surveys of people across the political spectrum, multi-partisan analysis, editorial reviews, third party data, and tens of thousands of user feedback ratings.
When you're looking at a website or other online source, it's important to remember that not all sources are equal in terms of quality or content. What could make a suitable source for one project, could be inappropriate for another. Always consult with your librarian or professor before using open online content.
The questions below are a critical lens for you to use when evaluating web sources for your academic work. You don't have to answer every question, but try to cover all of the broader, bolded questions. QUICK TIP: Always find the "About" section of the Website first.
Who wrote the source? Can you find an author or authors listed on the site?
What kind of background does the author have? Try Googling their name - what other kinds of things have they written?
Is there an institution, organization, or corporate entity that is behind the website? What interests might they have?
What is the source about?
How does the source's topic or content align with their mission and identity?
When was the source written?
Can you find a date anywhere on the website, or on the particular article or source you're looking at? Remember, an "updated" date at the bottom of a webpage does not necessarily mean that all content was updated as of that time.
What is the URL of the website you're on? Sometimes, you can tell more about a website based on the end of it's address (e.g. .edu, .com, .net, etc).
Think back to the author of the source, if you found one. What possible motivation could they have for writing the source?
Does the source have a clear message? Does that message align with the author/websites' intentions?
How did you find the source?
How is the source getting its message across?
Websites for Use in Exploring International Studies
An independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Centrist, center right orientation
SIPA provides committed students with the necessary skills and perspectives to become responsible leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The School's mission, which has evolved over the years, stays true to this history: to support the global public interest by educating students to serve and to lead, and to produce and share new knowledge on the critical public policy challenges facing the global community. Academic site.
The key premise of the SEI is the importance of engaging social, cultural, historical, political and economic barriers and understandings and recognize these to be a fundamental element of dealing effectively and justly with the massive transformations in our relationship with the planet. Academic site.
Human Rights Watch investigates and reports on abuses happening in all corners of the world and work to protect the most at risk, from vulnerable minorities and civilians in wartime, to refugees and children in need. Advocacy is directed towards governments, armed groups and businesses, pushing them to change or enforce their laws, policies and practices. NGO, Advocacy site.
The mission of the Human Development Report Office (HDRO) is to advance human development. The goal is to contribute towards the expansion of opportunities, choice and freedom. The office works towards this goal by promoting innovative new ideas, advocating practical policy changes, and constructively challenging policies and approaches that constrain human development. The office works with others to achieve change through writing and research, data analysis and presentation, support to national and regional analysis and outreach and advocacy work. This compilation of data on individual countries can be searched by country. There is an annual report as well as the indexed ranking. Currently, Norway is #1; Niger is #189
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.
With 173 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.
The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Center right, mainstream.
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. Its five institutions share a commitment to reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development. Centrist, free market in its orientation.
Foreign Affairs is an American magazine of international relations and U.S. foreign policy published by the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affair. The College Library has a subscription to the publication, which can be found on the final tab of this guide
The Conversation’s editorial process is deliberate and collaborative. Editors pay close attention to the news environment to identify the issues citizens are concerned about. They reach out to leading scholars across academia and work with them to unlock their knowledge for the broad public.
Through a Creative Commons license, they share Conversation US articles – at no charge to news organizations – across the geographic and ideological spectrum.