Evaluating Information Resources

James A. Gibson Library




Evaluating Information Resources


 

Books, Journals, Internet resources and other materials

Coverage

  • Does it provide an overview of your topic or cover only one aspect?
  • If focused on one aspect of your topic, is it one you want to include?
  • Is the right time period covered?
  • Does it contain new or unique information on your topic?

Relevance

  • Is the material aimed at a specialized or a general audience?
  • Is this source right for your needs?
  • Or is it too elementary or advanced?
  • Does the information provide evidence for your argument?
  • Is the information verified by what you have found in other sources?

Authority

  • Who is the author? Institutional affiliation, educational background, other publications, experience?
  • Have the contents been checked for accuracy?
  • Is there an editor to verify this?
  • Is there a bibliography and footnotes to indicate that the author has consulted other sources?
  • What point of view does the author or organization represent?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?

Currency

  • When was it published?
  • If not current, is the information still valid?

 

For additional hints on evaluating information resources, see:

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