Information adapted from:
United States Domain Names include: .com Commercial
This means that a company owns the site. A .com can be the company's actual Web pages or it can be a Web space that a company sells to people (such as America Online). Commercial sites are often difficult to evaluate because more and more often, companies are including educational information on portions of their sites. For example, the Duracell site includes a feature on the history of batteries. You will have to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a particular site's information outweighs its commerical/advertising agenda.
A .edu site is from a college or university, such as the University of Washington's www.u.washington.edu. Usually, this means that the site has good information, but sometimes colleges and universities give Web space to students. Remember that the students may or may not check their facts when they put information up on the Web. If you're not sure about a .edu site, check to see if it has a ~ (see explanation below).
If you see a tilde (~) in the Web address, you'll know that an individual created the page. Make sure that the individual cites their sources if you're considering to use the information in your research. Note: Universities offer Web space to their faculty members as well as to their students. If you're studying a subject in which the individual whose page you're looking at is a prominent researcher, it's probably all right if she doesn't cite outside sources when she discusses the topic of her own expertise.
.k12 K-12 School
These sites come from K-12 Schools (Kindergarten through 12th grade) and can include pages created by teachers and students.
.org NonProfit Organization
If you use a nonprofit organization's site, think about the organization's agenda and how it's likely to influence the way they present information.
.gov US Government
These sites are produced by some part of the United States government (federal, state, county, or city government).
.mil US Military
These sites are produced by branches of the United States military (Army, Navy, Marines, etc.)
.net Internet-Related Service
This means that the site has something to do with providing internet-related service. Local Internet Service Providers will have .net as part of their addresses, although they might also be .com.
Multnomah County Library's Homework Center. Evaluating Web Sites. Revised 31 August 1999. <http://www.multnomah.lib.or.us/lib/homework/webeval.html>. Accessed 7 June 2000.
Domain Names Outside the US include: .ca Canada .uk United Kingdom .au Australia .jp Japan .fr France
Last Updated 11 June 2000