Before using a website in a paper or project, you should evaluate it to make sure that it is appropriate for college level research. Consider the following criteria when you are evaluating a website:
The domain of a website indicates the type of entity responsible for creating and maintaining the site. The domain can be found in the site's URL and is always preceded by ".". See below for a list of possible domain names and the things to consider when evaluating these sites.
.gov : Maintained by various areas of the federal government and can generally be trusted. These are particularly useful for statistical inforamtion such as census or employment data as well as legal information such as Congressional hearings and Supreme Court rulings.
.edu : Maintained by educational institutions ranging from elementary through college. These are generally reliable sources, particularly if they are maintained by a college or university department or research center. However, be weary of personal student websites which may be hosted under a .edu domain but are not necessarily reviewed by the institution.
.org : Most commonly maintained by non-profit organizations which are usually credible, unbiased sources. However, be weary of non-profit organizations that strongly advocate specific points of view such as many lobby or activist organziations. While these organizations may provide credible information, be sure to check that this information is supported by cited sources and that you have evaluated all sides of this issue in other sources. Be sure to consider whether this organization is supported by commercial interests which may introduce bias.
.com : Maintained by commercial entities. Consider the motive of the site's creators as they are likley selling or promoting their product. While this information may be accurate, it may also be presented in a biased light or it may exclude information that could potentially harm their commerical interests.
.net : This is a generic domain name that could was originally intended for network technology groups but has come to encompass commercial and individual interests as well. These sources should always be closely evaluated.
.mil : Maintained by the various branches of the United States military.
.il.us : Maintained by various branches of the Illinois state government. This would also apply to any of the other 50 states such as wi.us, in.us, mi.us, etc. State sources are generally reliable and are particularly useful for state governement information such as state tax or health department information as well as websites hosted by individual towns or municipalities.
Common English-Speaking Country Domains :
.au = Australia
.ca = Canada
.uk = United Kingdom
One - National Gay & Lesbian Archives Started as a personal collection in 1942 and now housed at the University of Southern California, ONE Archives is the oldest continuing LGBTQ organization in the United States and the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees: Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state. Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin. Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake. Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.
Amnesty International - LGBT Rights - Amnesty International believes that LGBT people are entitled to the full range of human rights protections afforded to anyone else, and that governments have an obligation to protect and promote the basic human rights of LGBT people. Amnesty International considers people imprisoned solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity to be prisoners of conscience.
Bisexual Resources Center - An international organization providing education about and support for bisexual and progressive issues.
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Parents, Families, and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (PFLAG) - PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, their families and friends.
National Center for Transgender Equality -
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a 501(c)3 social justice organization dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration and empowerment.
Blogs & Podcasts can be an excellent way to keep up with current issues in your field. Just keep in mind that blogs can be created by anyone with computer access so you should only follow blogs written by trusted experts in the field. Most bloggers will embed links in their posts to other sites that are covering the same topic.
Gay USA (Podcasts) - Started in the 1908s and still running today through NYC, the podcasts are offer up daily news related to the LGBT community.
Huffington Post- Gay Lives - LGBT articles and news and reports on culture.
Towleroad : A Site with Homosexual Tendencies - Blog focusing on gays, pop culture, photography, politics, media, entertainment, technology, and travel
LGBTQNation - Current Events, culture, world events, entertainment, sports and legal news for the LGBT and LGBT-friendly community.