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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)?
- 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?
- 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)?
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?
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Articles in some scholarly and professional journals are not peer-reviewed, but are selected by an editor or board.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
Evaluate a Movie or Video