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Syracuse University Libraries

Music Research Process

Questions you should ask of every source you find

Currency

  • What is the publication/creation date?
  • Does this time period meet your information need?
  • When was the last update?
  • Are all the links up-to-date ( for web resources)?

Relevance

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level for your needs (not too elementary or advanced)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining if this is the one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

Authority

  • Who is the author?  What are her/his credentials?
  • Has the author been cited in other sources?
  • Who is publishing this information (individual, non-profit organization, commercial entity)?

Accuracy

  • Do other sources contain the same information?
  • Is evidence given to support the information?
  • Are other sources cited?
  • Is the site edited, or does it contain typographical errors (for web resources)?

 

Point of View (Bias)

  • Does the source present the information from a particular bias or single viewpoint?
  • Does the source contain assumptions not backed by research?
  • Does the sponsoring organization or site have a stake in how information is presented?
  • Does the information contain advertising?