As a student, you will be gathering information from a variety of types of sources for your research projects including books, newspaper articles, magazine articles, specialized databases, and websites. As you examine each source, it is important to evaluate each source to determine the quality of the information provided within it. Common evaluation criteria include: purpose and intended audience, authority and credibility, accuracy and reliability, currency and timeliness, and objectivity or bias. Each of these criteria will be explained in more detail below.
Adapted from Burkhardt, J.M & MacDonald, M.C. (2010). Teaching information Literacy: 50 standards-based exercises for college students.Chicago: American Library Association.
Relevance - How is this information relevant to your assignment?
Authority - Who is the author? What makes this person or organization an authoritative source?
Date - When was this information published and is the publication date important to you?
Accuracy - Where are they getting their information from? Does it have citations and references? Are they using reputable sources or explaining how they gathered their data?
Reason for writing - Why did the author publish this information?