Evaluating Sources

Criteria for Evaluating Sources

The same criteria are used for evaluating all resources no matter what format they appear in, print, media, web, etc. Web sites may be more difficult to evaluate than print resources.

Authority/Credibilty

  • Who is the author of the source (a person, an organization, or a company)?
  • Is the author an expert on the topic? To what extent does the author's occupation, years of experience, position, or education make him/her an expert?
  • What do you know about the publisher (e.g. company, professional association) of the source?

Purpose

  • Does the source try to sell, inform, or try to persuade you of a certain point of view?
  • Is it a commercial, governmental, or educational institution source?

Currency

  • Is the source up to date in relation to the topic?

Accuracy

  • Is the information based on facts or opinions?
  • Does the author provide any supportive evidence for his/her statements?
  • Are there sources listed for any information presented as fact so that they can be looked for to verify the facts?
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