Evaluation of Sources

Below are some questions that you can use to assess the credibility and usefulness of sources within the context you plan on using them:

Who is the author?

  • Is the author an expert within the field?
  • Is there a recognized authority or organization that provides the information?
  • Who is the provider of the information? Look for example at the URL.
  • Is there contact information?

What does the material contain?

  • Does the source contain the information you are looking for?
  • Are the facts correct and the text written in an objective manner?
  • To what extent does the source cover the subject? How detailed is the subject described?
  • Is it a scholarly (scientific), trade/professional, popular or other kind of text?
  • Are there references to other sources? What kind of sources?

Who is the target group?

  • Is it researchers, the general public, students or another defined group?
  • In what way is the material relevant to your needs?

When was the material written?

  • When was the material published?
  • Is the material sufficiently current for your needs?

Why was the material published?

  • Does the author want to present research, inform, persuade, sell or entertain?