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BRAIN: Using your BRAIN to evaluate information

Practical tips for evaluating authority

Tips for evaluating authority:

  • Who is the author/publisher/source?

  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?

  • Is the author qualified to write on this topic?

  • Check the About us section.

  • Check the URL. Domain names provide clues.

    • .com = commercial, .net = commercial, .org = nonprofit organization,  .edu = educational, .gov = U.S. government, = California government

  • If words like “.wordpress” or “blogger” are in the domain that usually means it’s a blog rather than a news source.

  • Be wary of variations of well known websites, such as “,” this is usually a sign that the website is fake version of a website. However, it can also be a foreign domain name from a reputable source.

  • Avoid websites that end in “lo” ex: Newslo.

  • For determining the source of a picture, do a reverse image search.  


Important definitions


adjective \ˈkre-də-bəl\

: able to be believed : reasonable to trust or believe

: good enough to be effective


adjective \-lē\

: concerned with or relating to formal study or research

: having the characteristics of a scholar

peer review


: a process by which a scholarly work (such as a paper or a research proposal) is checked by a group of experts in the same field to make sure it meets the necessary standards before it is published or accepted

Definitions from Merriam-Webster online dictionary

What is authority?

Is the article from a popular, peer reviewed, or trade publication?