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Why Evaluate Sources?
It is critical to evaluate your sources for your college assignments. Your professors expect you to gather information that is of high quality and comes from authoritative sources. Therefore you need to evaluate efficiently every information source you come across.
Always check for:
A Selection of Website Evaluation Resources
Evaluating Web Sources
This tutorial offers some general guidelines about how to treat information you find on the internet.
This short video by iLearning Library Services from BYU will show you how to apply basic criteria to evaluate sources when conducting research.
Knowing the author's or creator's credentials is key on evaluating sources. Information from a scholar or expert in a discipline will be more reliable.
Who is the author or organization creating the content?
What are the author’s credentials and qualifications?
Is the person an expert in their field?
Who is the publisher or sponsor?
What other information can you find about the author or organization responsible for the content?
High quality information can be verified.
Is the information complete?
Can the information be supported by evidence or confirmed by other sources?
Are there references or a list of works cited to identify where the author got the information?
Has the information been reviewed or referred?
Everyone has an agenda and you need to evaluate the information from different perspectives.
What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
Currency is about the timeliness of the information. This is essential in topics dealing with health sciences and sciences fields because information is constantly changing.
How recent is the information?
Has it been updated?
Is it current enough for your topic?
The relevancy of the information has to deal directly with your topic and assigment.
Is the information relevant for your topic and assignment requirements?
Does it answer questions you have about your topic?
Does it meet sources requirements from your professor? Scholarly, primary, per-reviewed?