Evaluating resources

 Using Good Sources: Evaluating What You Find


  • What are the author's qualifications? (education, past writings)
  • If the author is part of an organization, what is the purpose of that organization?


  • For journal articles, is the journal peer reviewed?
  • Is the publisher a university, scholarly society, government agency, trade, non-profit or commercial organization?


  • Why was the resource written? To inform? To persuade? To sell?
  • Is the material objective, showing more than one side of an issue?


  • Is the resource intended for scholars, professionals, members of an organization, the general public?


  • Is the topic covered in depth?
  • Does the resource describe other research done on the topic and provide a bibliography of related resources?
  • Does the resource report a new research study (primary source material), or does it describe or analyze research done by others?


  • Can facts be verified?
  • Are opinions and conclusions supported by the evidence?


  • When was the resource published?
  • Is the information still current or valid for your topic?