This chart contains a variety of questions that you should ask yourself when evaluating books, periodicals, and web sites based on five main criteria.
Five Criteria for Evaluating Sources
||Questions to Ask Yourself When Evaluating:
- 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 his/her credentials?
- Has this author been cited in your 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?
- If the information is outdated, does it still accurately reflect the knowledge in the field?
- Are there selection criteria given for the links to other pages and are the links relevant to the topic (for web resources)?
- Is the site edited, or does it contain typographical errors (for web resources)?
- Who is the intended audience (students, researchers, trade members)?
- 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 information contain the facts or an interpretation of the facts?
- Does the source contain assumptions or opinions that are not backed by research?
- Does the sponsoring organization or site have a stake in how the information is presented?
- Does the information contain advertising?