Documenting Human Rights Violations in Challenging Environments

Who are the site authors?

If you are reading an article on the site, see if the author’s name is listed on the webpage. What can you find out about this person from the Internet or experts with whom you are in contact? Does the author have other publications? Is the author known to have a particular bias? Does the author present relevant background and context? Does the article’s content seem credible, given what you know about the political and social context discussed on the site? Does the author tell readers where she/he obtained the facts for the article? Be wary of details or statistics without sources.

Quality of the information

To determine the quality of the information on the website, first check how current the information is. Look for a "last updated" date, which is usually found at the bottom of each web page. Then, examine any links listed on the website or in news articles. What kind of sites and documentation do they link you to? Do these sources also seem credible? Here are some questions to ask about the links:

  • Are the links well chosen, well organized, and/or evaluated/annotated?
  • Do the links work?
  • Do the links represent other viewpoints?
  • Do the links (or absence of other viewpoints) indicate a bias?

Finally, once you have answered all of these questions, ask yourself: Does it all add up? Is this site truly the best place to find information about your topic?