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Meet with Raven Fonfa, Librarian, to get assistance with using the library's resources and databases, and for guidance on finding, evaluating and selecting resources, and creating citations. Schedule an appointment here.
This guide presents techniques for evaluating information sources. This can help determine if a source is appropriate to use for your assignments and coursework.
Information can be easy to find online, but figuring out if it is "good" information can be difficult. We evaluate sources to check if they are reliable, factual, valid, objective, and trustworthy.
It is your right and your responsibility to critically evaluate all information sources that you rely on to create your own original work.
The basic questions and criteria are the same for all types of information sources: books, articles, academic/scholarly publications, websites, media, artificial intelligence, and more.
WHO? - Authority - Who is the author or creator; what is their background and qualifications? Can you identify a writer or creator? Is the creator an individual, an organization, or a company?
WHY? - Purpose & Objectivity - Why are they presenting this information? Are they trying to persuade you, sell you something, or provide information? What is their point-of-view? Do they have a bias or prejudice?
WHAT? - Accuracy of Content - Is the information based on facts and evidence? Do they cite their sources and explain how & where they got their information? Can you verify the information with more research?
WHEN?- Timeliness - Is there a publication date provided? Is the information current and up-to-date? Does it need to be? Is it acceptable to use older or historic information for your project?
HOW? - Publication & Presentation - Is it published in a reputable source, like a newspaper, magazine, or journal? If it is a book, can you identify the publisher, such as a University Press? Is it well-organized and professional-looking?
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