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Evaluating a Source: Home

Evaluating Resources

Evaluating Resources

An important component of research is knowing how to evaluate the resources you've found.  The aim of this guide is to give you the tools to determine if your resources are the right ones for your research.  With every type of resource you use, whether it be a search engine, book, article or website, there are five main criteria to keep in mind:

 

1. Authority

Who is the author and/or publisher?

2. Accuracy

How reliable is the information provided?

3. Objectivity

What is the purpose of the resource?

4. Currency

How up-to-date is the resource?

5. Coverage

Does the resource contain information relevant to your topic?

Evaluating Websites

The internet contains a vast amount of information, but because anyone and everyone can contribute to it, it's important to think critically about the information you find online. 

 

1.  Authority

Who is the author of the page?

Can anyone add content to the page?  (eg. wikis)

What institution or organization hosts the page?

Do the author and/or page host provide contact information?  What is their reputation?

2.  Accuracy

How accurate are the information and links on the page?

Do the links lead to pages relevant to the topic?  Do they work?

3.  Objectivity

What is the purpose of the page: to persuade, argue, inform or to sell a product?

4.  Currency

How current is the information on the page?

Does the page contain information on when it was created and/or last updated?

Are the links up to date?

5.  Coverage

How does the information on the website compare to information available from other sources, such as books and periodicals?

Does the page provide information not readily available elsewhere?

How valuable is the information on the page?

Who is the intended audience?