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US 350: Gardens of Heian Japan: Websites

This guide supports research into the Japanese gardens and Japanese culture of the Heian period.


Domain Names

When evaluating a web resource, analyze the domain name and determine if the creator of the webpage can be trusted.

Domain Names / .com Commercial Intent - can be created by anyone / .org Organization - wide range of credibility / .edu Educational institution - Since 2001, must be US Institution of higher ed. / .gov Government entity - restricted to US government sites. Federal, state or local.

Domain Name Differences by adstarkel. Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Website Evaluation

Anyone can create a website. It's your job to determine if a website is a scholarly resource.

Stop the D.R.A.M.A. around website selection! Use the checklist below as a guide to evaluate websites:


  • How recent is the information?
  • Is the information current enough for your topic?


  • Does the content of the source match your topic?


  • Are there spelling or grammar mistakes?
  • Do the links on the webpage work properly?
  • Does the author provide references or sources for data?


  • Why did the author create this source? To inform? To sell you something? To entertain? To sway your opinion?
  • Is the information fact or opinion?
  • Is it biased?


  • Who wrote this source?
  • What are the creator's credentials? Do they have a PhD or an advanced degree from an accredited university?
  • Who is the publisher? 

Do These Websites Pass the D.R.A.M.A. Test?





Encyclopædia Britannica Check Mark  

◭ The Encyclopædia Britannica is a well-known trusted source for facts.

◭ The Article History and Article Contributors sections show that this entry was written by authorities who are experts in their field.

◭ There is an extensive Additional Reading section that lists great scholarly resources for further study.

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History - Heian Period Check Mark  

◭ The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a well-known institution that is a trustworthy source on topics related to art and art history.

The content was written by the Met's experts.

◭ The information is factual and was created to inform and teach.

Japanese Aesthetics (Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Check Mark  

◭ The author - Graham Parkes - and the editor - Edward N. Zalta - are both experts in their fields.

◭ The content is supported by citations and an extensive bibliography.

◭ This encyclopedia entry was published by Stanford University.

Japanese Gardens   X Mark

◭ On the homepage, the author - Mark Schumacher - acknowledges that this website is not a scholarly resource.

◭ There are broken links.

◭ The website lacks proper citation.

◭ There are several advertisements promoting the author's Buddhist art store and sake-exporting business.

◭ In the footer, the author asks for personal donations.



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