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Domestic Violence Law: Evaluating Internet Resources

A guide to domestic violence law resources, including sources of federal, state, and international law, practice materials and materials on specific legal issues, as well as news, scholarship, agencies, and organizations.

Fact Checking

Wikipedia

Wikipedia describes itself as "the free encyclopedia anyone can edit."  Read Wikipedia's ever-growing list of disclaimers--"Wikipedia Makes No Guarantee of Validity."  It's not a good idea to rely on the information you find here--you can use it to start your research, but never quote from it in a research paper.

Internet Archive and Other Web Archives

Evaluating Websites

Factors to look for in evaluating websites include

  • Authority
    • Who is the author? Do they have a hidden agenda?
  • Objectivity
    • Does the website purport to be objective? Advocacy group websites can be a valuable source of information, but you should question the information if they hide who they really are.
  • Timeliness
    • What is the date of publication? When was it last updated?
  • ​Documentation
    • Do they cite reliable sources?
  • Privacy
    • If you have to sign up for a free account, what do they do with your information?

Invisible Web Resources

  • Google and Yahoo are estimated to cover only 3% to 34% of documents available on the Internet
  • Much Internet exists as the "Invisible Web", hidden from search engines for a number of reasons:
    • Site requires registration
    • Site is fee-based or licensed
    • Site is behind a firewall or on an intranet
    • Site is dynamically generated

Search Engines