Don’t Bet on It! By Hazel Peterson, Librarian Molina High School, Dallas ISD What’s In a URL? www.dallasisd.org/athletics To get information from the URL, ask these three questions: • What is the domain name? • What is the extension? • Is this a personal page? Domain Name www. dallasisd.org /athletics The domain name follows the www and comes before the first slash ( / ). It tells you who sponsors the page. You can sometimes tell about the reliability of the information from the name of the sponsor. Extensions • May provide more reliable information than others, but there are no guarantees • More reliable are .edu, .gov, .k12. • Watch out for .com, .org, .net. Keep in mind that while some of these sites may provide good information, they are able to be purchased by anyone and may be specialinterest sites or commercial sites. http://www.bigredhair.com/robots/index.html What is this .com’s purpose? Types of Extensions www.dallasisd.org/athletics .edu .k12 .ac .sch .com .org .gov .net .mil Educational organization (most US universities) US school site (not all US schools use this) Academic institution (outside of US) School site (schools outside of the US use this) Company (usually .co in the UK) Any organization Government agency Network Military institutions More about Extensions Can include a country or state code .uk – United Kingdom .us – United States Full List: http://goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/text/web_co untry_codes.html What a difference an extension makes? www.moises.molina.net What a difference an extension makes? www.moises.molina.com Personal Web Page • Is a website created by an individual • May or may not be reliable, often biased • Usually has a personal name following a tilde (~) or a percent sign (%) http://pubweb.northwestern.edu/~abutz/d i/intro.html Who is the Publisher? You can often find the owner or publisher of a website by using the Whois? Database. http://www.martinlutherking.org WARNING!! (This site may contain offensive information.) martinlutherking.org • Looks innocent • Has a .org extension • Found near the top of results when researching Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. • Includes Dr. King’s name right in URL How to find the publisher www.easywhois.com And the publisher is….. Registrant ID: Registrant Name: Registrant Organization:Stormfront Registrant Street1: Registrant Street2: Registrant Street3: Registrant City:West Palm Beach Registrant State/Province:FL Registrant Postal Code:33405 Registrant Country:US Registrant Phone:+ Google the publisher As you read the material on the site, you will find very negative and misleading information about Dr. King. It is published by a White Pride organization called Stormfront. In fact because it is a hate site, it will be blocked by many Internet filters. What is the History of the Site? When looking at sites, you may want to see what it looked like earlier in its lifetime. Using the Wayback Machine, you can see a site throughout its lifetime. http://www.archive.org History of martinlutherking.org • Note the changes. • Do you see anything that warns you of the content of the site? • Would you be likely to open this site to use the information for research? • How does this site compare to the newer one? What external links can you find? External links: • Come from other sites linked to the one you are viewing • Can be made by anyone else in the world • Invisible • Linked to a website from an external source 3 Questions to Validate External Links 1. What types of sites are linked to this website? 2. What is the purpose of the link? Why have these groups or individuals chosen to link to this site? 3. What do other sites (those linked to this one) say about the information on the site? How to Locate Links Go to www.google.com In the search box, type link: and then add the URL of the site you would like to research. Be sure to add http:// to the URL. link:http://www.dallasisd.org • How many external links are there? • What types are there? Truncating when searching If searching for a URL and you receive no results, truncate the URL. Truncating means removing one folder at a time, moving from the last one. A folder is the information in the URL between slashes. http://improbable.com/airchives/classical/c at/cat.html Type in the URL, then truncate it back to see how the site changes. Is it important to evaluate a site? • Verifies the information • Shows the validity of its use in your research project • Keeps you away from the 98% garbage-level information found on the Web • Keeps you from using bogus information Remember: Databases contain verified information on academic topics. Use a database first. If you have to search the web, search wisely using the tips you have been given to evaluate the site.