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Kreitzberg Library for CGCS Students

Choose and Evaluate Sources

This guide provides information on how to choose and evaluate sources.

Questions to Ask

Authority

  • Who wrote it?
  • What are the author's credentials?
  • Who sponsors the web page?

Audience

  • Who is the target audience?
  • What is the purpose of the page?
  • Advocacy, news, opinion, scholarship...

Currency

  • When was the information published?
  • Has a more recent publication disputed these claims?

Objectivity

  • Is there a bias?
  • How can you tell?
  • Are facts accurately cited?

Support

  • Are sources cited?
  • Are citations from well-known authorities?

Other Criteria

  • How deeply is the topic covered?
  • What other information do you need to round out your argument?
  • Is the content (article, book, etc.) easily available? Do you have enough time to use ILL?

Accuracy in Social Media

Author's network:

  • How old is the account?
  • Do some background research on fans and followers: Who is in their network and who follows them? Who leaves comments?

Reliability (of author and content)

  • Can the information be verified from other sources?
  • Does the author have a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, blog, or personal webpage?
  • What kind of content is showcased on these pages?

Contextual updates:

  • Does the author usually post about this topic?
  • If so, what do past or updated posts say?
  • Do they fill in details as they occur?

Geography:

  • If the blog features breaking news content, is the author near the location of the event? 

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