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Evaluate What You Find
- Evaluate each source--print or media--for authority, accuracy, age, and relevancy.
- General Questions to Ask:
- Is the source intended for academic research?
- Does it lack advertising or clearly separates advertising from information?
- Does it inform--as opposed to persuade, advocate, entertain, or sell?
- Does the author have expert credentials and contact information?
- Is the author affiliated with an educational institution or nonprofit organization?
- If it is a Web site, does it have one of the following preferred domains: .edu, .gov, or. org?
- Is the source well-researched?
- Does the source have references?
- Is the source well-written and grammatically correct?
- Does the source provide a creation date? (Depending on the discipline, look for sources written within the last five years.)
- Has the Web site been recently updated?
- Does the Web site lack dead links?
- Is the Web site easy to navigate, and does it have a search box?
Adapted from: Teaching Information Literacy: 50 Standards-Based Exercises for College Students
(Joanna M. Burkhardt, American Library Association, 2010)
Tips for Evaluating Sources