Evaluating Information Resources
Think about the following…
It is important to keep in mind that just because information is published in a book, journal article or web site does not mean it is true. One must take the time to evaluate the accuracy of the information. Researchers need to develop critical thinking skills in evaluating either pre-filtered library materials or unfiltered Web sources.
It is important to try to find the author's qualifications or expertise in order to determine the credibility and reliability of the information.
Is the purpose of the information to:
Provide research and scholarly information?
Provide educational or factual information?
Advertise, market or sell something?
Advocate ideas or to persuade you?
Does the source provide balanced, objective, factual information?
Does the source provide subjective, editorial or opinionated statements?
Is the site a forum for a personal, political or ideological bias?
Is the point of view presented in a direct manner, or is it presented in an unbalanced and unreasonable way? Are arguments well supported?
Check the publication date of the information source. You would not want an article on the topic of “Recent treatments for AIDS” to come from a book or article from 1995. On the other hand, if you are tracing legislation and public opinion on AIDS, you would need to look back to the early 1980s for enough information.
Call the W. L. Lyons Brown Library Reference Desk