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Credibility of sources
Once you venture outside of trusted legal databases like Westlaw and LexisNexis to do non-legal research on the web, you need to evaluate the credibility of the resources you are using.
Ask yourself the following questions to help determine credibility of a website:
- What does the URL reveal? (.gov, .mil, .edu, or country codes like .uk)
- Who wrote the page? Is the author a qualified authority?
- Is it information outdated or current and timely?
- Is information cited authentic and verifiable?
- Does the page have overall integrity and reliability as a source?
- What's the bias?
- Could the page or site be ironic, like a satire or a spoof?
(Adapted from Evaluating Web Pages: Questions to Ask & Strategies for Getting the Answers.)
Justia finding facts
A great website with links to encyclopedia, almanacs, statistics, quotations, and many more.
Factual research versus Legal research
If legal research involves searching for cases, statutes, laws, rules, and regulations, what is factual research? Fact-finding or information gathering involves searching for people, corporations, scientific & medical reports, public records or any other non-legal research. Factual research is necessary to provide background information, find expert witnesses, or fulfill required due diligence.
Resources on factual research