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Sometimes, you can judge how reliable website information is by noting the URL ending.
.GOV - refers to a government website. Highly reliable.
.EDU - often refers to a reliable educational website.
.ORG - implies a non-profit ORGanization. Approach with skepticism.
.COM - stands for "Commerce" and is used for business. Approach with skepticism.
The endings are not a guarantee, however. To go beyond evaluating the website URL ending use this checklist of criteria:
For a complete description of this image
A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies (USA.gov)
A directory of federal agencies from the official U.S. government website.
"The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC."
Congressional Budget Office
Nonpartisan organization producing budgetary analysis reports. It does not make policy recommendations but rather focuses on methodology.
Data.gov is a federal open government data site managed and hosted by the U.S. General Services Administration. It collects information on the total number of datasets and dataset collections. Data is separated into categories, some of which include, business, climate, consumers, education, health, ocean, and public safety, among others.
From The Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, independent, and nonprofit organization that tracks money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. "OpenSecrets.org... [is] the most comprehensive resource for federal campaign contributions, lobbying data and analysis available anywhere."
Pew Research Center
"Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research." Select the Project of your choice to view data. You may need to register, but it is free.
US Government Accountability Office
"... an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO examines how taxpayer dollars are spent and provides Congress and federal agencies with objective, reliable information to help the government save money and work more efficiently. "
Statista This link opens in a new window
Statista.com, by Statista, Inc. provides data on over 60,000 topics from over 18,000 sources, categorized into 21 market sectors. Statista.com provides quantitative data on media, business, finance, politics, and a wide variety of other areas.
Statistical Abstract of the United States
Summary statistics on just about any topic (often for a range of years) - lacks detail to lower levels of geography (ie. counties, etc.) but is a good pointer to other sources. Covers up to 2012. The latest edition is available at the Research Help Desk and is published by ProQuest. No longer is it published by the U.S. Government
U.S. Census Bureau
Population Statistics and demographic information, etc. from the U.S. Census Bureau (includes "American Factfinder")