Official State of Iowa Website

Currency: How current is the information on the website?  

When you find information relating to the law online, you should consider how reliable the information is, how current the information is, and what type of information the website provides. 

Even if a website is reliable, you need to make sure the information you are looking at is current. For example, the Iowa Legislature website is a reliable source for State of Iowa statutes (among other things). In addition to the current laws, however, the Iowa Legislature website also includes older laws, because sometimes researchers need to look at what the law was at some past time. This could lead you in the wrong direction in your research. Look for dates on the webpage or document. Also look for words like “archive,” which often mean that part of the website is used to store older content. Legal-icon-unanswered-question.png

Another reason that a website’s content may be out of date is because the law changes! It takes time to update content, and sometimes an organization may have so much content to update that it takes a long time to get to it. Look for a “last updated” or “current through” date. If those are not available, look for other indications that the content might not be current. Does the website have broken web links? Does the website list elected officials that are no longer in office? 

If you can’t figure out whether a website is providing you with information that is current, consider reaching out to a librarian to ask for help