The ability to discern credible Holocaust-related sources can be confusing. There are several straight-forward and excellent guides that provide guidance on how to evaluate sources. These are listed in the "Useful Guides" box below.
To the degree that it's possible, we recommend that you rely on the Library and Web Resources listed in this guide. Our library resources are vetted to ensure that they are authoritative, credible and academically appropriate. Otherwise, use the guides in the box below this one and follow these general rules:
When looking at other websites, keep in mind the following:
- Whose website is this? Check the "About Us" section or the creator/author or the website. Who is the author and is there an organizational affiliation? Use our databases to determine the author or website creator's credentials. What else they have published and what reviews of the work say about the author/work.
- Does the website content demonstrate evidence of bias or a point of view? Though sometimes difficult to discern, try to determine what the website sets out to explain or prove. Is there an agenda?
- What claims are made? Are these claims supported by evidence presented in credible sources (see "Library Resources" and "Web Resources" in this guide)?
- Does the author cite other sources? If so, what are those sources? Is there a theme or type of source cited here? Are any of the cited sources from academic journals, authoritative sources or primary sources?
- What other websites contain links to this website? You can search for this on Google using - link: e.g.à link:ushmm.org (will retrieve results of sites that contain links to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum)
- Can you get a sense of the intended audience for this website/information? Is it academic (is this an .edu site)? Are there ads on this site? If so, what are the products, etc.? This can give you a sense of whether this is a serious or academically appropriate website.