University of Missouri Outreach and Extension
Extension Web Support

Linking and referring clients to external websites

The University of Missouri Extension website provides our citizens with easy access to research-based information and programs. Delivering content from the University of Missouri is the foremost goal, but to serve clients and give them thorough answers to their questions, it is sometimes necessary to refer them to other sources. This practice should be secondary and employed judiciously. MU Extension faculty members represent the interests of the university and are responsible for the quality of information disseminated.

When referring clients to non-MU websites through a link on an MU Extension website, a URL printed in a handout or newsletter, or verbally over the phone, quality is always paramount over quantity.

We suggest the following guidelines and practices:

Linking to external sources is recommended only as a supplement to our own material and is prioritized by:

  1. other land-grant universities;
  2. valid government sources (e.g., or;
  3. research-based nonprofit institutions (e.g., American Heart Association); and
  4. other sources only if they are carefully screened and deemed to be research-based, unbiased information in a context that does not promote a specific product, point of view, religion, political agenda, etc.

Before referring clients to an external URL, always review the site carefully and only give out the URL if it contains information that you would be willing to endorse.

If you cannot provide information from MU sources, other land-grant sources or reviewed government sources, refer the client to a search engine to do their own research.

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Outreach and Extension Kate Akers
Last revised: 12/12/06
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