Once you've found information on your topic, it is important that you evaluate the information to make sure it is considered "good quality."
Since anyone can publish on the web, you simply cannot believe everything that you read. In addition, different types of publications are intended for different audiences and different purposes. When you are doing research, it is important to critically evaluate each source to determine who is publishing it, what is the purpose of the publication, and whether or not it includes accurate information.
This chart contains a variety of questions that you should ask yourself when evaluating books, periodicals, and web sites based on five main criteria.
|Criteria||Questions to Ask Yourself When Evaluating:|
|Point of View (Bias)||
|Who wrote it?||reporters or staff writers||researchers, experts in the field with a known affiliation (university, research lab, etc.)|
|Who was it written for?||general public||other researchers or experts|
|How long is it?||short, easily readable in a short period of time||typically longer|
|How much detail?||overview of topic||includes data, graphs, charts, and analysis of that data|
|How do you verify info?||publication's reputation||cited works or bibliography in addition to publication's reputation|
|Where is accessible?||grocery store, airport, bookstores, free websites||library subscription, professional society literature|