Judging what you find

Evaluating information sources is an important part of the research process. Not all information is reliable or true, nor will all information be suitable for your paper or project. Print and Internet sources vary widely in their authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and coverage. Users must be able to critically evaluate the appropriateness of all types of information sources prior to relying on the information. 

Thumb down and thumb upFor this brief introduction to evaluating resources, we will use five important criteria: Authority, Accuracy, Objectivity, Currency, and Coverage. The same basic questions should be asked of all information sources: books, journal articles, web pages, blogs, videos, sound recordings and ebooks.