OC logo

OC Libraries

Skip to main content


Research Guide

Selection Critera for Web Sites

Overall, I look for Web sites that are visually appealing, well organized, easy to navigate, and authoritative. Site content should be appropriate for an academic audience. In addition, I also look closely at these criteria:


Preference is given to government sites (.gov) , educational institutions (.edu) , and professional organizations (.org).  Commercial sites are avoided.  The sites I select disclose their advisory board members, consultants, editors, and authors, along with their credentials.


In some areas of psychology, information changes constantly, I look for Web sites that contain the most up-to-date information.

Factual Information

Content should be factual and free of opinion or bias.  Information is verifiable as fact by investigating primary sources, such as the professional literature, abstracts, or links to other Web pages.


Ideally the site gets recommended by one or more of these organizations:  American Psychological Association, American Library Association, the National Institutes of Health,  and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Access to Content

Content (i.e. articles, reports, books, videos, podcasts, etc.) should be readily available in total, i.e. site visitors should not need to purchase, or register to use, full content.