Use the following criteria to evaluate the information resources you use in your research:
Currency: The timeliness of the information.
- When was the information published or posted?
- Has the information been revised or updated?
- Is the information current or too out-of-date for my topic?
- Are all the links functional or are there dead links?
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
- Does the information relate to my topic or answer my question?
- Who is the intended audience?
- Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too simple or advanced) for my needs?
- Did I look at a variety of sources before deciding to use this one?
- Would I be comfortable using this source for my college research paper?
Authority: The source of the information.
- Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
- Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
- What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
- What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
- Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
- Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? Examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net.
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information.
- Where does the information come from?
- Is the information supported by evidence?
- Has the information been reviewed by anyone else?
- Can I verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
- Does the language or tone seem biased? Or is it free of emotion?
- Are there spelling, grammar, typographical, or other errors?
Purpose: The reason the information exists.
- What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
- Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
- Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
- Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
- Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
Source: Evaluating Information, University Libraries, University of Rhode Island, http://uri.libguides.com/evalinfo