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Syracuse University Libraries

SOC 300: Gender, Race and Class in the Caribbean (FALL 2017): Evaluate Your Sources!

Evaluating Sources - Univ. of California, Berkeley

Searching and Evaluating Sources, including websites

  Evaluating Sources
University of California, Berkeley Library

How to Identify "Fake News"

Newhouse Professor Explains Fake News

SU Today
According to Adjunct Prof. Tom Boll, Newhouse School of Journalism:

"How can news consumers learn to distinguish fake news from real news?

...Here are a few things to think about when consuming news:
1.Does the author tell us how they know what they are telling us?
2.Who are the people they’ve talked to?
3. Do they identify them and give their credentials and are these people—sources—qualified to speak about the topic? And do these sources support their statements with facts?
4. Does the story provide multiple perspectives or just one viewpoint? Is the information presented impartially or is it slanted?
5. Are reputable news organizations reporting this also? Remember, always get your information from more than one news outlet..."

Tuesday, January 24, 2017, By Cyndi Moritz

Evaluate a Movie or Video

How to Evaluate a Movie, Video or Film Clip
A good web page by Naomi Lederer, Colorado State University Library.

Evaluating Sources

Questions you should ask of every source you find


  • 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)?


  • 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)?


  • 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)?


  • Who is the intended audience (students, researchers, trades people, children, adults)?
  • Is this source appropriate for your needs and understanding of the topic?

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?

Vanessa Otero's News Quality Chart

Peer-review Journal vs. Scholarly Journal

A peer-reviewed or refereed journal is one in which manuscripts submitted by authors are reviewed by experts on the topic before being accepted for publication in the journal.   

 Articles in some scholarly and professional journals are not peer-reviewed, but are selected by an editor or board.  So all peer-reviewed journals are scholarly; but not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed.

Peer-reviewed journals can be identified in sources such as our  Journal Locator.

Evaluating social media sources